With much of the northeast experiencing scorching temperatures, high humidity and little to no precipitation, Carbon County is among the growing number of counties that have been placed on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's drought list.
Mark Nalesnik, the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency director, released an updated drought map from DEP yesterday.
According to the composite indicator map, dated July 6, numerous counties throughout the eastern portion of the state are in a drought watch or warning. Carbon County is listed in a drought watch.
A drought watch declaration is the first level and least severe of the state's three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non-essential water use. The classifications are dependent on four indicators, including precipitation deficits, surface water levels, groundwater levels and soil moisture. Drought watch conditions begin to occur when a deficit of 25 percent of the normal precipitation happens over a three-month period. Drought warning conditions occur when a deficit of 35 percent is recorded and drought emergency conditions begin to happen when a deficit of 45 percent is recorded.
Nalesnik recommends that Carbon County residents try to conserve water, if possible, until the drought situation improves.
He noted that there are three burn bans currently in place in the county.