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Officials: drought worsening in southern New England

July 14, 2022 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Southern New England is experiencing worsening drought conditions, government officials said Thursday, urging residents to voluntarily take steps to reduce their water consumption.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont declared a Stage 2 drought, based on a recommendation by the state’s Interagency Drought Workgroup, which determined that every county in the state is experiencing Stage 2 drought conditions due to below-normal precipitation.

Stage 2 is the second of five drought stages defined by the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan. On June 2, the workgroup classified New London and Windham counties as being at Stage 1, essentially a “heads up” about the early signs of abnormally dry conditions.

“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take sensible steps to reduce impacts on other water uses and on the environment,” Lamont said in a statement.

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Residents and businesses are being urged to take steps such as reducing automatic outdoor irrigation, postponing planting new lawns or vegetation and fixing leaky plumbing.

Much of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been in a drought since May.

Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card declared on Wednesday a significant drought for a large portion of that state, and Rhode Island officials declared on Thursday that all but southern coastal areas are now in a moderate drought.

The city of Warwick, Rhode Island, instituted every-other-day watering restrictions effective immediately.