With the solstice this week officially marking the arrival of the summer season, many of us will be spending a lot of time on or near the water between now and Labor Day doing recreational and other activities.
The traditionally hotter and drier weather of summertime will also place increased demands on the Delaware River Basin’s valuable water resources, and the Delaware River Basin Commission would like to remind everyone to use water efficiently.
“We are dependent on our vital water resources for drinking water, recreation, power generation, aquatic habitats, commerce, industry, and so much more,” said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini. “While we often take our water supplies for granted, they are not unlimited and we all need to do our part throughout the year to practice efficient water use.”
Observed year-to-date precipitation in the Delaware River Basin above Trenton, N.J. through the first half of June was over three inches below normal for this time period.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, which reports on weekly conditions throughout the nation, indicated on June 16 that nearly all of the basin above Trenton is “abnormally dry,” with some areas noted as even drier.
The increase in hot and dry weather typically results in increased outdoor water use, especially on lawns, gardens, and landscapes.
According to WaterSense, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency partnership program which includes the DRBC as a member, homeowners can use two to four times as much water for lawns and gardens in the summer season compared to the amounts used during the rest of the year.
In addition, WaterSense reports that some experts estimate as much as 50 percent of outdoor water use during the summer is wasted due to inefficient watering methods and systems.
“DRBC is committed to spreading the word about the value of our basin’s water resources and water use efficiency,” said Tambini. “Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the magnificent water resources in the Delaware River Basin, while every day is the perfect time for water use efficiency.”Useful information, such as indoor and outdoor water savings tips as well as links to many water efficiency online resources, can be found on the Commission’s website.