Bradford County remains on drought watch as new county added

Pictured is the County Drought Status Map that was updated Wednesday.

Bradford County is still under a drought watch as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection added a 30th county to the listing on Wednesday.

Under a drought watch, people are asked to curb their water usage between 5% to 10%. or an average of six gallons of water per day. Bradford County has been under a drought watch since Sept. 30.

“Although there’s been precipitation in some areas, and some indicators are beginning to improve in some counties, we still have a ways to go to get out of these deficits,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re asking consumers in these counties to use water wisely and follow simple water conservation tips to ease the demand for water.”

These tips include running water only when necessary; catching excess water from a shower or reusing old water to water plants; only running washing machines or dishwashers with full loads; checking for plumbing leaks; replacing old appliances with high efficiency models; and keeping grass longer when moving to help retain moisture.

In addition to Bradford County, neighboring Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties are on the drought watch list. Columbia County was added Wednesday.

Clinton, McKean and Potter counties are on the more dire drought warning list, and residents there are asked to reduce water usage by 10% to 15% or an average of 62 gallons per day.

Recommendations for drought watches, warnings and emergency declarations are determined by the Commonwealth Drought Task Force based on stream flow and groundwater data compiled from U.S. Geological Survey data, levels of precipitation and soil moisture, and information the DEP receives from public water suppliers.

The Drought Task Force will meet again in about two weeks.

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