New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette issued a statewide drought watch as of August 9, 2022, and the Murphy Administration is urging residents and businesses to conserve water as persistent dry and hot conditions continue to stress water supplies throughout the state. The Commissioner’s declaration of a drought watch is the first in the State’s three-stage drought advisory system. The watch is intended to sow public awareness and appreciation of the stress upon water supply sources and encourage voluntary water conservation measures. If conditions do not improve, declaration of a drought warning or a drought emergency with mandatory water use restrictions may become necessary. Voluntary conservation measures at the watch stage can help to avoid more serious and restrictive drought conditions.
The DEP is continuing to closely monitor drought indicators, which include precipitation, stream flows, reservoir levels, ground water levels, and water demand. DEP will continue to inform the public, local governments, and water systems of future actions to mitigate the risk of more severe conditions.