Officials say drought is mostly over in New Hampshire
The drought is mostly gone and so are most – but not all – restrictions on water usage.
As the official drought designation in most of the state improved this month to “abnormally dry,” Concord, which uses Penacook Lake for drinking water with the Contoocook River as a backup, has decided to stop urging people to conserve water as of Friday.
It takes weeks or months for moisture from the snowy winter and wet spring to percolate underground.
“We’re pretty much at normal levels,” said Matt Gage, director of Pembroke Water Works, about the five gravel-packed wells used by its system.
This is not unusual for New England, she said.
“People have looked through studies and tried to find correlations between a certain phase and certain weather pattern, but we tend not to find strong relationships with any one thing,” she said.
Notably, we can’t predict our weather future just from El Nino, the pattern of water temperatures in the southern Pacific Ocean that was associated with last year’s drought.
“I caution people not to make a seasonal outlook based on one pattern,” she said.
The long-running drought caused some debate because state law allows towns and cities to forbid homes from doing outdoor watering but gives them no authority over businesses.
A new law that allows local government to stop businesses from watering lawns was likely to be approved Thursday by the state Senate and sent to the governor’s desk for signing.