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Adirondacks remain on drought watch

The Adirondack Park remains listed on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s drought watch list.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Adirondacks had been added to the state’s drought watch list on July 28, along with Long Island, the Upper Hudson/Mohawk area and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence area.

The Adirondacks, as of Tuesday, was listed as still being on “watch,” the first of four level of state drought advisories. In July, Cuomo tied the decision to place the Adirondacks on the drought watch list to the “recent wave of extreme heat” in several parts of the state.

Since spring, dry conditions have been documented in most of New York state, according to a news release from the DEC. Reduced precipitation has resulted in reduced water availability and below-average stream flow with many streams seeing record lows for this time of year. Many lake levels are lower than usual, and groundwater levels are reduced due to the prolonged dry spell. Some areas have had water shortages with suppliers issuing water use restrictions and supplementing normal sources.

The Southern Tier region was added to the state drought watch list on Tuesday.

The DEC issued conservation tips for homeowners to reduce outdoor water usage.

¯ Fix dripping and leaking faucets and toilets. A faucet leaking 30 drops per minute wastes 54 gallons a month.

¯ Raise lawn mower cutting height. Longer grass needs less water.

¯ If the community allows watering, water lawns and gardens on alternate mornings instead of every day. Less frequent watering will develop grass with deeper roots, and early morning watering minimizes evaporation.

¯ When using automatic lawn watering systems, override the system in wet weather or use a rain gauge to control when and how much water to use. A fixed watering schedule wastes water. Irrigate only when needed to save water and improve the lawn’s health.

¯ Sweep sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them. Eliminating a weekly, five-minute pavement hose-down could save between 625 and 2,500 gallons of water per year depending on the flow rate.

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