The recent rainy period that we seem to have gotten stuck in is providing some relief for rainfall shortages earlier this year, but concerns about a drought remain high enough for the state Department of the Environment to extend a previously issued drought watch to the Central and Western regions of the state, including Carroll County.
What that means is that residents and businesses should try to conserve water. Repairing leaks, not washing down driveways, limiting watering of gardens and operating washing machines and dishwashers only when there is a full load are some of the tips offered by the MDE.
During the watch, the MDE notes that it increases its oversight of water supply conditions. It also reminds people that local water systems can require water use restrictions at any time due to local conditions, but has said that it is not aware of any that have implemented either voluntary or mandatory restrictions at this time.
The MDE made its determination to extend the drought watch based on its analysis of drought conditions at the end of April. It noted that with the growing season in full swing, conditions in all regions of the state could worsen if we do not get sufficient rainfall in the next month.
The MDE re-evaluates drought conditions biweekly.
Whether in a period of drought or not, it is always a good idea for residents to look for ways to save water. Most municipalities and public water systems have raised their rates in recent years. The impact of those rate increases can be minimized if people get into the habit of conserving water whenever and however they can.
For the long term, in addition to the tips that have already been offered, residents can install low-consumption toilets and low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
Water is a basic element that we depend upon for our survival. As such, we need to make sure we are all vigilant about keeping our water supplies safe, as well as making sure that we aren't wasting this limited resource.