Gov. Northam issues statewide drought watch advisory, encourages citizens to conserve water


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RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam is encouraging citizens and localities across the state to prepare for a potential drought by issuing a special advisory.

The lack of rainfall since July, low stream flows and low level of groundwater across the Commonwealth is what prompted the drought watch advisory.

Citizens are asked to voluntarily minimize their non-essential water use during the advisory to protect the current water supplies prior to a potential drought.

Localities are already taking steps to conserve water supplies, but state officials say they should be reviewing their water conservation and drought contingency plans to take action.

More than two dozen localities have issued open air burn bans because of the dry conditions, but none in the Hampton Roads area as of Friday.

Northam could issue a drought warning next if the conditions continue and a significant drought is about to happen.

Virginia has a Drought Monitoring Task Force that works under the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to monitor potential drought factors.

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