Just days after the state Department of Public Health declared a water emergency in Danbury, Governor Dannel Malloy announced that six of the state's eight counties are under a drought watch. The watch includes Fairfield and Litchfield counties. Malloy says Connecticut is coming off one of the warmest summers in history in which precipitation was about 60 to 73 percent of normal amounts, and that was after an exteremly dry winter.
The drought watch declaration includes a voluntary 15 percent drop in usage of water in the affected counties.
Earlier this month, Danbury officials called on residents to conserve water. At that time, reservoir levels were at 66% of full capacity or about 11% below normal for this time of year. The state directive will allow Danbury to use Lake Kenosia for the water supply.
To date, 20 water companies have requested voluntary conservation or imposed mandatory restrictions. A continually updated list of these water companies is available on the Department of Public Health’s website.
While this is the state’s first Drought Watch, lower-level Drought Advisories were previously declared in 2002, 2007, 2010, and earlier this year. A Drought Watch is the second of four stages of drought defined in the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan.