No drought for Delaware system yet, but months of dry weather predicted

LET BROWN BE the new green. Use water wisely, it's not a limitless resource.

The drought affecting many counties in the Delaware River Basin hasn't let up and three Delaware River Basin counties in Pennsylvania were recently added to that state's list

But as I noted in a previous story here, a drought in the land around the river doesn't make a drought for the river. Here's the best warning system for a Delaware River drought: the graph that shows how full the New York City Reservoirs are.

But even though the river isn't at risk, it's true that our watershed is pretty dry and likely to stay that way for a bit. Here's the U.S. Drought Monitor site, which shows the national state of things. Comparatively, we're not doing badly.

There are a lot of different ways to "see" our weather, and the lack of rain. Here are some graphics that might help encourage us all to be more careful of our water supply — not just when there are droughts but year round. For these suggestions, my thanks to Clarke Rupert, who works for the DRBC and is a self-described "water nerd!"

Poke around a bit on this one and see what we didn't get and why our states are dry. Here's a graphic from The National Weather Service that gives a quantitative prediction for precipitation.

This one gives the probability of such a forecast actually giving us rain. It’s interactive, so you have to play around with it to observe what you want. And here's a three-month forecast. That one suggests that there will not be much rain in the next 90 days.

So, have a look at this site — some interesting ways to save water.

About Meg McGuire

Meg McGuire has been a journalist for 30 years in New York and Connecticut. She started in weekly newspapers and moved to full-time work in dailies 25 years ago. She knows about the tectonic changes in journalism firsthand, having been part of what was euphemistically called a "reduction in force" six years ago. Now she's working to find new ways to "do" the news as an independent online publisher of news about the Delaware River, its watershed and its people.

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