Green

Hunterdon Remains Under Drought Watch

77776a71dce90e2d8730_sompixsprucerun.jpg
Aerial photo shows that Spruce Run in Clinton Township remains below capacity. Credits: courtesy photo
77776a71dce90e2d8730_sompixsprucerun.jpg

TRENTON, NJ – Following months of sufficient precipitation, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin has lifted a drought warning for 12 of 14 counties in the northern, central and northern coastal regions of New Jersey and removed a drought watch for four counties in the southwestern part of the state.

However, Hunterdon and Somerset counties remain under drought watch as water levels at Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run remain below normal capacities.

Martin signed an Administrative Order removing, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Sussex, Union and Warren counties from drought warning status and removing Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties from drought watch. Those advisories had been in place since October.

Sign Up for E-News

Round Valley is at about 72 percent capacity and Spruce Run is at about 69 capacity, in large part because there was less precipitation in that area over the winter. The drought warning status for both counties, which are primarily served by these reservoirs, allows for continued modified passing flows designed to conserve storage.

“The return of soaking and well-timed precipitation over the winter and early spring has resulted in steady improvements in our drought indicators for most of the state,” Martin said. “In particular, storage levels in the major reservoir systems that serve the densely populated portions of northern New Jersey are at full capacity entering the time of year when water demand peaks.”

“Water levels are increasing across the state in response to recent rains,” said State Geologist Jeffrey L. Hoffman. “Reservoirs, with the exception of Round Valley and Spruce Run, are more than 90 percent full. Stream flows and groundwater levels are trending upward, which is a good sign. We will continue to closely monitor indicators in all parts of the state.”

The Round Valley and Spruce Run reservoirs, operated by the New Jersey Water Supply Authority, is typically at 94 percent this time of year. 

“By maintaining the reduced passing flow requirement, the authority would expect to save anywhere between seven to ten billion gallons in the reservoirs over the upcoming summer months, which will allow the reservoirs to continue to improve,” said Beth Gates, executive director for the authority.

While most regions of the state are now under normal water supply conditions, Martin reminds the public to always practice water conservation, especially when watering lawns and landscaping, which accounts for a significant portion of water use in the spring and summer.

“I want to thank water suppliers and residents in the affected areas of the state for working with us to conserve water,”  Martin said. “I urge everyone to always be mindful of not wasting water. We should not forget the images from last fall of the muddy slopes of receding reservoirs as we turn our attention to maintaining our lawns and landscaping this spring.”

Some suggested lawn and garden water conservation tips include:

  • Do not over-water lawns and landscaping. Two times per week for 30 minutes in the morning or late afternoon during drier periods is typically sufficient.
  • Use a hose with a hand-nozzle to water flowers and shrubs.
  • Do not mow your grass too short. Set mowing height to at least three inches. Longer grass blades help retain soil moisture, improve root growth and encourage a healthier lawn.
  • Avoid watering lawns and plants during the heat of the day, since much of this water will evaporate without helping your lawn.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn by establishing gardens that use native, drought-tolerant vegetation.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and reduce weeds.
  • Use barrels or other containers to capture rainfall for use in watering. Cover the openings with fine screens to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the collected water.
  • Use a broom to sweep sidewalks and driveways rather than a hose.

To save water in the home:

  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Turn off the faucet while shaving and brushing teeth.
  • Install faucet aerators.
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers when full, or make sure to select the appropriate wash cycle for the load size.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install a low-flow toilet.

For more state water supply status information, visit njdrought.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Flemington/Raritan

Reiner's Conservative Hypocrisy

June 22, 2018

To the editor,

Regarding the recent TAPinto article that quoted Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner about a possible marijuana dispensary being located in his town, I crack up every time he opens his mouth and plants his pseudo-conservative foot in it.

According to the article, this staunch conservative Republican who blathers about the importance of personal freedoms every chance he ...

Reiner Doesn't Speak for Township Committee

To the editor:

In light of the recent letter to the editor from Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner regarding his personal opinion on arming school officials, we felt the need to share our views on his statement.

Mr. Reiner took this position as an individual citizen and not in his capacity as a member of the Township Committee. We wholeheartedly disagree with the notions of arming ...

Trump Border Policy Wrong, Counterproductive

To the editor:

As an educator and a child-advocate, I have been at the forefront of the immigration debate over the past decade. And while I have always advocated for a comprehensive solution, I never thought any opposing plans were morally wrong; until now!

The Trump policy of separating children from their parents at the border is morally wrong and counter-productive from a public ...

A Man of 'Deep Pockets, Sterling Character'

To the editor:

At a meeting of Flemington Borough Council earlier this year, Mayor Phil Greiner described Jack Cust as a man of “deep pockets and sterling character.” He seemed to be attempting to justify his basis for selecting a new redeveloper, after the first two selected by a committee he was part of, or led, failed at the project. Initially the project was to find someone to ...

End 'Gun Free Zones,' Harden Soft Targets

To the editor:

In response to the Governor's recent signing of legislation restricting law-abiding gun owners to 10 rounds of ammunition and rejecting calls to address the uneven playing field existing vis-à-vis some single mom alone with her child fending for herself against some armed assailant packing who knows how many rounds is something a Politburo thug would appreciate! The ...

Voter Turnout in Raritan Township

To the editor,

We want to share our admiration for all of the Raritan Township residents who came out to vote in the June 5 Primary Election. Additionally, we want to say "thank you" to our Democratic supporters for their votes.

As we look to the General Election on Nov. 6, we reflect on the importance of this election for our children, seniors and all those in between as we ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

Tue, June 26, 9:00 AM

Flemington Public Library, Flemington

Coding Camp at Mediatech

Education

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Reiner's Conservative Hypocrisy

June 22, 2018

To the editor,

Regarding the recent TAPinto article that quoted Raritan Township Committeeman Lou Reiner about a possible marijuana dispensary being located in his town, I crack up every time he opens his mouth and plants his pseudo-conservative foot in it.

According to the article, this staunch conservative Republican who blathers about the importance of personal freedoms every chance he ...

Driver, Runion, Giles-McCormick, Kick-Off Campaign

June 19, 2018

FLEMINGTON, NJ — Borough Mayor candidate Betsy Driver and Borough Council candidates Chris Runion and Caitlin Giles-McCormick have joined their campaigns in advance of the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

Since winning her campaign to become a Borough Councilperson, Betsy Driver has already passed resolutions to get Council meetings streamed live and videotaped for later viewing; a tuition credit ...