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DNREC Secretary encourages Delawareans to conserve water, particularly during hot, dry weather

DOVER (July 27, 2012) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara is reminding Delawareans that good water conservation practices should be used year round – and especially in times of very hot and dry weather such as the state has experienced this summer.
 
“While some recent scattered showers are helping, conserving water during periods of heat and lack of rainfall will help preserve existing water supplies and reserve our storage,” Secretary O’Mara said. “Our water supply is a precious natural resource that Delaware residents have a direct influence on through our use and our conservation of it. Wise water use practices make good sense for the environment and for your pocketbook any time of year.”

 
Water conditions for the state were reported today during a teleconference held with the northern New Castle County water utilities. All utilities reported that demands were normal and that there are sufficient water supplies at this time, according to Stewart Lovell of DNREC’s Water Supply Section. According to the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) Delaware’s ground water, stream flows, and reservoirs range between below normal and normal levels.
 
The primary concern, however, is rainfall deficits. Precipitation levels throughout the state have been below normal for the past six months. As of today there is a 6-month rainfall deficit of 8.2 inches at the Wilmington Airport., 11.8 inches in Dover, and 9.3 inches in Georgetown.
 
Secretary O’Mara noted that reservoirs in northern Delaware are now being tapped to boost water supplies. Daily monitoring of water supply and demand conditions will continue in accordance with the plans established by the Delaware Water Supply Coordinating Council. Weekly meetings of the water agencies and utilities will be held until conditions return to normal. Since the Council was established, over 2 billion gallons of water have been developed to protect New Castle County’s supplies.
 
The following wise water conservation practices from DNREC’s Division of Water are actions that everyone can take to help preserve Delaware’s existing water supplies.
 
Outdoor Tips:
•           Water during cool hours – morning is best to prevent fungus and mildew growth – to minimize evaporation and don’t water on windy days which also wastes water lost to evaporation.
•           Don’t let the hose run while washing your car. A bucket of water and quick hose rinse will conserve many gallons of water.
•           Collect rainwater from your downspouts to water your plants and garden.
•           Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, patios and sidewalks.
•           Apply mulch around plantings to retain moisture.
•           Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
 
Indoor Tips
•           Keep drinking water in your refrigerator.
•           Fix leaky faucets and toilets immediately. This is the top water conservation tip.
•           Install water saving shower heads.
•           Take shorter showers or take a bath.
•           Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators.
•           Fill your dishwasher before use.
•           Select the proper water level for laundry.
•           Don't let water run down the drain while rinsing vegetables and dishes.
•           Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.
•           Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
•           Check into a low-flow toilet.
 
Vol. 42, No. 285

NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
 
Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.