RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam announced a statewide drought watch advisory for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The advisory is intended to increase awareness of current conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event. Residents are encouraged begin preparations for a potential drought.
The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor now has 62% of Virginia in a moderate drought.
Low rainfall amounts since July and record-breaking high temperatures have contributed to drought conditions in many regions of Virginia.
“More than half of our Commonwealth is currently experiencing a water deficit, which can have lasting agricultural, economic, environmental impacts,” said Governor Northam. “While water conservation activities during a drought watch are generally voluntary, we encourage localities and individuals across Virginia to heed this warning and take necessary steps to monitor their water usage.”
The conditions have caused 36 localities in Virginia to issue open air burn bans. Those localities include Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, and more.
Throughout the drought watch advisory, localities, water suppliers and self-supplied water users in all areas are strongly encouraged to take voluntary steps to protect current water supplies.
- Minimize non-essential water use.
- Review or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take actions consistent with those plans.
- Share information as broadly as possible.
- Continue monitoring the condition of public waterworks and self-supplied
- water systems in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
- Impose water restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
- Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.
Individuals are encouraged to check the Virginia Department of Forestry’s map for the latest information on active burn bans and contact their locality for further details on outdoor burning restrictions.
The next stage after a drought watch is a drought warning, which indicates that a significant drought event is imminent.