Portsmouth Drinking Water Supply Update (August 5, 2022)

August 5, 2022

Seacoast Area Now in Severe Drought

The New Hampshire Drought Monitor recently upgraded the Seacoast area to Severe Drought conditions due to the lack of significant precipitation this summer. This is predominantly due to low snowfall over the winter and the fact that since January the Seacoast has received only 70% of normal precipitation.

The recent hot and dry weather has intensified these already dry conditions, resulting in rapid development of drought.  While the drought report has prompted other communities to put watering restrictions in place, the City of Portsmouth and Pease Drinking Water Systems are not implementing any restrictions at this time but do ask water customers to voluntarily reduce unnecessary water usage and be as efficient as possible.

The Town of Rye has implemented Stage 1 Water Restrictions (odd/even) for all water use in Rye, whether the source is from public or private water supplies. Therefore, these restrictions apply to all Portsmouth water customers in Rye and those served by wholesale water provided by Portsmouth to the Rye Water District. 

The City’s Water Operations staff continues to implement an "integrated water system management plan" which has help maintain above-normal water levels in the City and Pease drinking water wells. Reservoir levels and conditions are also near normal for this time of year. However, the hot weather does elevate the reservoir’s water temperature, which requires more vigilant monitoring and adjustments to the treatment process at the Madbury Water Treatment Facility. 

Portsmouth's Water System also benefits from the additional water supply from the reactivation of the Haven Well as a supply to the Pease Water System made possible by the new Pease Water Treatment system.  Finally, leak detection and water main replacement efforts by the City have reduced water loss throughout the system, meaning less demand on our available supplies. City Water operations staff will continue to track and update conditions throughout the summer. 

NH Drought Monitor