The Drought Steering Committee, which falls under the purview of the Water Resources Board (WRB), convened meetings on August 13 and September 10 with federal, state and local experts to assess the current drought conditions and the status of the four major drought indices: precipitation, Palmer Drought Severity Index, streamflow and groundwater. At the meeting on September 10, the committee determined that the data supported making an official recommendation to the Governor to issue a Drought Advisory, the first of four drought levels.
"I want to reassure Rhode Islanders that we have systems in place to respond to dry conditions, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation in the days and weeks ahead," said Governor Raimondo. "We are encouraging residents and businesses to identify their water supplier and watch for any water restrictions in their area. I also want to remind Rhode Islanders to be considerate of their water usage, because we all play a role in our state's water conservation efforts."
The issuance of a Drought Advisory helps the WRB educate Rhode Islanders about the conditions being observed and to connect impacted residents and businesses with resources.
"While our state's water supply system is designed to handle drought conditions, it is important for the public to be aware and take precautionary steps," WRB Chairwoman Susan Licardi said. "WRB staff and our partners will closely monitor conditions moving forward."
Residents and businesses are encouraged to check in with their local water supplier for any restrictions and take steps to conserve water, including:
- Don't water during the warmest part of the day when most water evaporates (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.);
- Try not to "over-water" your lawn – the average lawn needs 1 inch of water per week;
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps as opposed to spraying them down with a hose; and
- Check load size when you are washing laundry or dishes to ensure you are not using more water than needed.