Concord, NH – Drought conditions in New Hampshire continue in the southern half of the state, where groundwater supplies are lagging behind in recovery. As New Hampshire heads into peak water use season, the New Hampshire Drought Management Team is urging the public to use water conservatively. Hundreds of wells across the state went dry in 2016, and below average rainfall combined with high temperatures could put New Hampshire right back where it was last year.
During the New Hampshire Drought Management Team meeting held on April 10, 2017, Brandon Kernen, NH Drought Management Team Chair, warned, “Overflowing reservoirs, high stream flows, and flood warnings all point towards drought recovery, but many well monitoring stations in the southern part of the state continue to show below normal levels. It is imperative that residents on public water systems and private wells continue to be cautious with their water use as we transition from early spring, a time of peak groundwater recharge, to the growing season, where evaporation and plant uptake results in minimal recharge of groundwater at the same time that peak water use is also occurring.”
Dr. Mary Stampone, NH State Climatologist, further summarized drought conditions, indicating that the northern half of the state has recovered from drought while the southern half of the state continues to have drought conditions, but with decreased intensity since the fall. Dr. Stampone followed up that good news with a warning: “While temperature increases through the spring and into summer, the amount and timing of rainfall over the next few months is unknown.”
Suggested water conservation measures include limiting lawn watering, using a sponge and bucket instead of a hose for all outdoor cleaning, and sweeping instead of power-washing driveways and patios. For more information on drought conditions and water efficiency tips, go to www.des.nh.gov and click on the “NH Drought Information” icon.