HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Despite the recent rainfall that we have been seeing, 36 counties in Pennsylvania still remain on a drought watch.

Today the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) met with the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. After the meeting the DEP announced that many counties in Pennsylvania still remain on drought watch. Continued voluntary water conservation is requested in these counties.

“Conditions have improved with the recent rain, but we need to see continued meaningful precipitation over several months and have public water suppliers in affected counties returning to normal operations before the drought watch can be lifted,” said DEP Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “We ask Pennsylvanians in these counties to continue to use water wisely and follow simple water conservation tips to ease the demand for water.”

The following counties are currently on drought watch:

  • Berks
  • Bucks
  • Bradford
  • Cameron
  • Carbon
  • Centre
  • Clearfield
  • Clinton
  • Columbia
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Juniata
  • Lackawanna
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Luzerne
  • Lycoming
  • McKean
  • Mifflin
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Montour
  • Northampton
  • Northumberland
  • Perry
  • Philadelphia
  • Pike
  • Potter
  • Schuylkill
  • Snyder
  • Sullivan
  • Susquehanna
  • Tioga
  • Union
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming

A map of the drought declarations can be viewed here.

To help with lessening the use of water in the counties, residents are asked to reduce their water use by 5 to 10% individually, or a reduction of three to six gallons of water a day.

DEP is notifying water suppliers of this and if conditions worsen, it could lead suppliers or municipalities to ask residents for more stringent conservation actions.

If you are currently residing in a county that is under a drought watch, here are some ways that you can help conserve water at home:

  • Run water only when necessary
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine less often, only with full loads
  • Water your garden when it is cooler in the evening or in the morning
  • Water your lawn only if necessary
  • Set your blades to 2 to 3 inches high when mowing
  • Check for household leaks and repair them
  • Sweep instead of hosing off the dirt
  • Replace older appliances with more efficient ones
  • Install low-flow plumping fixtures and aerators on faucets
  • Set up a rain barrel