Portsmouth Water Division Requests Voluntary Water Restrictions

August 24, 2020

The Drought Monitor issued on August 18, 2020 elevated New Hampshire’s drought conditions in the Seacoast area to Severe Drought (D2), up from Moderate Drought conditions set on June 23, 2020. The New Hampshire Seacoast has received only 8 inches of precipitation since the beginning of May compared to the 14 inch average. The State has activated the Drought Management Task Force and has advised public water systems including Portsmouth’s to implement outdoor water use restrictions where needed.

Based on the Severe Drought conditions and the State’s recommendation, the City of Portsmouth is encouraging Voluntary Water Use Restrictions. Portsmouth water customers are requested to voluntarily restrict their use of water for outdoor irrigation, to be as efficient as possible and to refrain from outdoor watering between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm.

“Although our groundwater levels remain fairly good, according to data tracked by the City’s water operations staff, river levels are very low for this time of year and the reservoir is also lower than normal,” said Brian Goetz, Deputy Director of Public Works. “Other water systems on the Seacoast are experiencing similar conditions. While we’ve had recent rain events, they have not produced much volume and it will take additional rainfall to recover from drought conditions. Therefore, for the long-term sustainability of our water resources it is very important that our customers take this seriously and cooperate in being efficient with their water use. If we can get good compliance with voluntary measures, and some precipitation, then we may not need to increase the restrictions.”

Customers can access full Water Supply Status Reports and Water Efficiency Tips at: https://www.cityofportsmouth.com/publicworks/water
For additional information, please contact Al Pratt, Water Resources Manager at 520-0622 or Brian Goetz, Deputy Director of Public Works at 766-1420.

monthly precipitation

rolling 12-month total precipitation

Data through August 23, 2020

river flow conditions

Click here for a pdf version: Water Division Implements Voluntary Water Restrictions

drought map