Fauquier, Prince William under drought watch
Fauquier, Prince William under drought watch.
A “drought watch” has been issued for Fauquier, Prince William and the surrounding counties by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The DEQ is requesting the area prepares “for the onset of a drought event.” The DEQ said the drought watch advisory “applies to public or private groundwater supplies or private surface water supplies in Fauquier, Prince William and Loudoun counties.
But "water systems using the Potomac River or Occoquan Reservoir are not affected at this time.” The watch includes the surrounding area in northern Piedmont and Northern Virginia and is “intended to increase awareness of conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event and to facilitate preparation for a drought,” according to the DEQ.
New record low-water levels for March have been recorded in two long-term observation wells in Fauquier and Orange counties.
The abnormally dry conditions experienced during much of November through February produced below-normal groundwater recharge that may negatively affect water availability during the summer months.
DEQ said that “while public and private water supplies are in good shape at this time, conditions could deteriorate as the spring and summer seasons develop.” DEQ is “notifying all local governments, public water works and private-sector water users in the affected areas, and is requesting that they prepare for the onset of a drought event by developing or reviewing existing water conservation and drought response plans.” The state is urging the effected areas to take these voluntary steps to conserve their water supplies: Minimize nonessential water use.
Review existing or develop new local water conservation and drought contingency plans and take conservation actions consistent with those plans.
Impose water use restrictions when consistent with local water supply conditions.
Aggressively pursue leak detection and repair programs.