Drought Watch

Dear City of Middletown Water Customer,

Please be advised that due to continuing below normal precipitation in our region, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) continues its "Drought Watch" designation for this region. Please read the following article from DEC and take advantage of the water conservation tips provided. As always, we urge our water customers to conserve water not only due to current drought condition, but throughout.

Drought Watch Lifted in Many Places, New Yorkers Encouraged to Continue Reducing Unnecessary Water Use

Today DEC issued an update on drought conditions across the state. The State's Drought Management Task Force updated the drought status to "Normal" from "Drought Watch" for multiple regions including most of upstate New York because of recent rainfall and higher levels of ground and surface water. Despite the encouraging hydrological conditions, all New Yorkers are urged to continue reducing unnecessary water waste, fixing leaks, and choosing efficient water fixtures.

The following counties will return to Normal designations:

  • Albany
  • Broome
  • Cayuga
  • Chautauqua
  • Chenango
  • Columbia
  • Cortland
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Fulton
  • Genesee
  • Greene
  • Herkimer
  • Livingston
  • Madison
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Niagara
  • Onondaga
  • Oneida
  • Ontario
  • Orleans
  • Otsego
  • Rensselaer
  • Saratoga
  • Schenectady
  • Schoharie
  • Seneca
  • Sullivan
  • Tioga
  • Tompkins
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Yates

The following counties will remain in Drought Watch designations due to ongoing precipitation deficits, unseasonably low streamflows, and groundwater declines:

  • Dutchess
  • Nassau
  • Orange
  • Putnam
  • Rockland
  • Suffolk
  • Ulster

A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories, which are watch, warning, emergency, and disaster. No mandatory restrictions are in place under a state Drought Watch. A map of the counties under Drought Watch is available.

New York State drought region IIA, which includes New York City and Westchester, remains in normal status due to the satisfactory storage levels and refill probability of the New York City reservoirs.

According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the City's reservoirs are approximately 8% below normal for this time of year, with 295 billion gallons currently in storage, compared to 332 billion gallons normally. DEC continues to work closely with DEP to monitor reservoir conditions and encourage responsible water use, especially outdoors, regardless of the hydrological conditions or season.


To protect water resources, homeowners in regions under Drought Watch are encouraged to voluntarily reduce outdoor water use and follow these tips:

  • Water lawns only when necessary, choose watering methods that avoid waste, and water in the early morning to reduce evaporation and maximize soil hydration
  • Reuse water collected in rain barrels, dehumidifiers, or air conditioners to water plants
  • Raise lawn mower cutting heights. Longer grass is healthier with stronger roots and needs less water
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
  • Fix leaking pipes, hoses, and faucets

For More Information

For more water saving tips and information about drought in NY, visit DEC's website. Thank you for the voluntary efforts to conserve water!