Saturday, January 21, 2023

Drought Watch Lifted for Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Carbon Counties

After almost 5 months, the Drought Watch has been lifted for the five remaining counties including Schuylkill, Luzerne, and Carbon.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on Friday after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force that drought watch has been lifted for five counties and hydrologic conditions are normal statewide.

Drought watch has been lifted for Carbon, Luzerne, Northampton, Potter, and Schuylkill counties.

The Drought Watch had been issued August 31st, 2022.   

The Palmerton Municipal Water Authority in Carbon County remains on voluntary restrictions, but groundwater indicators for that county have returned to normal and precipitation has been sufficient to support groundwater recharge.

To determine drought conditions, the DEP drought coordinator assesses information from public water suppliers and data on four indicators: precipitation, surface water (stream and river) flow, groundwater level, and soil moisture. This is done in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, which maintains gauges in streams and wells in many locations across Pennsylvania.

DEP makes drought status recommendations after assessing departures from normal ranges for all indicators for periods of 3-12 months.

DEP shares these data and its recommendations with the state and federal agencies and other organizations that make up the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. Declarations are determined by DEP, with the concurrence of the task force.