ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Though water restrictions across Rockland County were lifted back in August, with summer over drought conditions continue in parts of New York State, including its southern regions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Rain bands associated with Hurricane Matthew pushed up into the Mid-Atlantic and into southern New England, said the latest weekly report.
Enough precipitation was recorded that portions of southern and northeast New Jersey had a slight improvement to the abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions there, said U.S. Drought Monitor.
Southeast Massachusetts also received good rains this last week, which was enough to ease the drought intensity, as extreme and severe drought conditions were improved a category and drought was removed from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Other portions of these regions remained dry and had drought intensify and expand this week, the report said.
Abnormally dry conditions were introduced over much of the remaining portions of New England that were not already labeled as such.
All areas except extreme northern Maine are now in abnormally dry or drought status.
Moderate drought was expanded over eastern New York and Vermont while severe drought was expanded in southern New York and northern New Jersey, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.
Rockland County imposed mandatory water restrictions on July 21 due to concerns about low flow in the Ramapo River, which feeds wellfields that provide about 20 percent of Rockland’s water, according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
Those restrictions were lifted Sept. 22, he said.
The amount of rain that has fallen in Rockland as measured by a gauge at Lake Deforest is 52.6 percent lower than average for August and September, while October is not shaping up to be much better, according to Day.
"Despite the drought we are not at this point considering re-imposing water restrictions because those measures focus on outdoor water use, which is already declining as the weather gets cooler," Day said.
"This situation is a reminder that Rockland’s water is not limitless. The county simply does not have enough water to support unchecked development. Towns and villages must make sure that there is enough water for any additional development."
"We also urge residents to conserve water, which is our most precious natural resource," said Day.
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