DNREC Secretary Promotes Water Conservation

by Dave on September 25, 2010

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara is asking state residents to voluntarily conserve water due to the continued dry conditions that have persisted throughout Delaware. Precipitation levels throughout the state have been below normal for the past six months.

“Conserving water during periods of prolonged heat and lack of rainfall will help preserve existing water supplies and reserve storage,” said Secretary O’Mara. “Wise water use practices make good sense for the environment and your pocketbook any time of year.”

According to the Delaware Water Supply Coordinating Council, at this time Delaware’s ground water, stream flows, and reservoirs range between normal to below normal levels. Streams in particular are declining, but at a gradual rate. Water conditions reported at the Council’s Sept. 22 meeting include a 6-month rainfall deficit of 7.1 inches at the Wilmington Airport, 7.7 inches in Dover, and 6.9 inches in Georgetown.

Today, the Delaware River Basin Commission issued a drought warning for the lower basin states, due to declining levels in two lower basin reservoirs. A drought warning calls for the voluntary reduction of water use. Hydrologic conditions in Delaware have not resulted in a state-declared drought watch or warning at this time.

Secretary O’Mara noted that all reservoirs on which northern Delaware relies upon for drinking water are nearly full and are now being tapped to boost water supplies. Daily monitoring of water supply and demand conditions continues in accordance with the plans established by the Delaware Water Supply Coordinating Council. Since the Council was established, 2 billion gallons of water for storage and capacity have been developed to protect New Castle County.

While Delaware’s reservoirs are currently faring better than those in other basin states, the following wise water conservation practices are actions everyone can do to help preserve our existing water supplies.

Outdoor Tips:

1. Water during cool hours – morning is best to prevent fungus and mildew growth – to minimize evaporation and don’t water on windy days which also wastes water lost to evaporation.
2. Don’t let the hose run while washing your car. A bucket of water and quick hose rinse will conserve many gallons of water.
3. Collect rainwater from your downspouts to water your plants and garden.
4. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, patios and sidewalks.
5. Apply mulch around plantings to retain moisture.
6. Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.

Indoor Tips
7. Keep drinking water in your refrigerator.
8. Fix leaky faucets and toilets immediately. This is the top water conservation tip.
9. Install water saving shower heads.
10. Take shorter showers or take a bath.
11. Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators.
12. Fill your dishwasher before use.
13. Select the proper water level for laundry.
14. Don’t let water run down the drain while rinsing vegetables and dishes.
15. Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.
16. Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.
17. Check into a low-flow toilet.

release from DNREC

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