Central Jersey drought warning lifted

Central Jersey drought warning lifted.
With rainfall returning to near normal levels in the past three months, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has lifted the drought warning for Hunterdon and Somerset counties.
“I’d like to thank the residents of the entire state for their patience and cooperation in dealing with this yearlong drought condition,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.
In the past three months, according to the National Weather Service, rainfall in Somerset and Hunterdon counties has been, respectively, 2 and 1.7 percent above normal.
The combined total storage capacity of the two — Round Valley and Spruce Run — has recovered by more than 21 percent from a low of 59.7 percent on Nov. 28, to 81.03 percent, which is only about 10 percent below average for this time of year.
While lifting the drought warning may be good news for Central Jersey residents, Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said there is still cause to worry.
“The DEP is lifting the drought warning, but we are concerned that they haven’t fixed their broken system to deal with droughts.
They are lifting this drought warning because of nature, not because of DEP’s programs to conserve water and protect our water supply," Tittel said.
We also have not adapted our drought warning system to climate change and changing weather patterns."
Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

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