(Newmarket, NH) - The summer-long drought continues to take it's toll on water supplies, and there is no end sight.
The town of Newmarket issued a notice Tuesday saying the area is now in a slow-moving Drought Natural Disaster. All residents, whether on a well or municipal water supply, is being asked to conserve.
According to the US Drought Monitor, the drought has become significantly worse, with over half the state in drought and the extreme drought moving from the seacoast farther into southern New Hampshire.
Fall and spring are the two seasons relied upon to recharge groundwater and surface waters; therefore, any rain received before winter is needed to recharge the groundwater to help sustain drinking water supplies through the colder months. However, the National Weather Service is anticipating a warmer than expected fall and winter, with little precipitation.
There has been a significant uptick in reported private well supplies being depleted in all regions of the state and drought conditions have the potential to continue into the winter.
Since the Town of Newmarket was conserving water since August 2015, we are in a better place than most other municipalities. However, we are continuing to monitor whether to ban all outside water usage. This could come at short notice.
In addition, the State is recommending that we ban all outside water use for private systems. While we do have the authority to do so (RSA41:11-d) we are waiting before we take such a drastic step.
If we do ban all outdoor water usage, people found in violation of the order will be subject to a fine.