Portsmouth DPW Water Division Imposes Watering Restrictions

September 10, 2020

Due to ongoing drought conditions, the Portsmouth Department of Public Works Water Division is activating a water-use restrictions schedule. Effective immediately, the Water Division is asking customers to water lawns and gardens only between midnight and 10 am on odd-numbered days. There should be no outdoor watering on even-numbered days.

Water Department staff will be monitoring for compliance and those found not complying with the restrictions will receive notices. In accordance with City regulations, repeat offenders will have their water shut off until they agree to comply.

“The State’s Drought Management and City water operations data show very low amounts of precipitation, and, consequently, low river levels for this time of year,” said Al Pratt, Water Supply Operations Manager. “This is an issue that is affecting the entire Seacoast of New Hampshire. Since May, we have received just over 9 inches of precipitation, which is 6 inches less than normal, just 57% of what we would expect during this period of time. It’s important that we preserve enough water in our system by implementing these use restrictions to ensure clear water quality through the water mains, including for the critical fall hydrant-flushing program.

Pratt reported that while water supply sources are doing better than they were during the historic drought conditions in the summer of 2016, it is very important for the long-term supply conditions that Water Department customers take the current drought conditions seriously and cooperate in being efficient with their water use. City staff will continue to monitor these conditions, but it is likely these measures will be in effect until substantial rainfall occurs and the Seacoast recovers from the current severe drought conditions.

For the most current, full Water Supply Status Report with details on the current supply status, click here. To view current State conditions, click here. For more information, please contact Al Pratt at 520-0622 or Brian Goetz, Deputy Director of Public Works at 766-1420.   


Low precipitation drought conditions map.