Blair County Still on Drought Watch; Bedford Not On List


September 24, 2020

With Blair County still on a drought watch, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Sept. 10 added three counties to the list. Bedford County is not currently on a drought warning, watch or emergency.

After a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, the DEP moved Potter County to drought warning status and added three counties – Elk, Lycoming, and Tioga – to drought watch.

There are now 18 counties on drought watch: Armstrong, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Fayette, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Perry, and Tioga.

Residents on drought watch are asked to reduce their individual water use 5 to 10 percent, based on a statewide average of 62 gallons per person per day. This means a reduction of three to six gallons of water per day.

Ways to reduce use

There are many ways to reduce water use around the house and yard, including:

• Run water only when necessary. Don’t let the faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving. Shorten the time you let the water run to warm up before showering. Use a bucket to catch the water and reuse it to water your plants.

• Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.

• When watering your garden, be efficient and effective: Water in the evening or morning, and direct the water to the ground at the base of the plant, so you don’t waste water through evaporation.

• If you water your lawn, water it only when necessary, and avoid watering on windy and hot days. Apply no more than 1 inch of water per week (use an empty can to determine how long it takes to water 1 inch). This pattern will encourage more healthy, deep grass roots. Over-watering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought.

• Re-use old water from bird baths, vases, or pet bowls to water plants.

• When mowing your lawn, set the blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil, improving moisture retention. It also grows thicker and develops a deeper root system, so it can better survive drought.

• Check for household leaks. For example, a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.

• Sweep your sidewalk, deck, or driveway, rather than hosing it off.

A drought emergency has not been declared for any county.

Find more information at the website


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