Home > Uncategorized > DEP finally acts on drought – requests voluntary water conservation

DEP finally acts on drought – requests voluntary water conservation

[Update: 7/7/10: today’s Star Ledger story fails to tell readers about DEP drought monitoring indicators or the phased and progressively more aggressive 4 step process getting to mandatory restrictions (i.e. Normal, Watch, Warning, Emergency). That process was ignored and the Ledger provided no criticism of DEP’s delay or notation of the fact that United Water issued mandatory restrictions BEFORE DEP’s voluntary ones. But criticism of DEP is implied in noting USGS concerns: N.J. calls for voluntary water restrictions as temperatures hike up to 100 degrees]

The U.S. Geological Survey contends New Jersey and other parts of the northeast are in “abnormally dry” conditions, but the state Department of Environmental Protection said it is not yet issuing a formal drought warning.

Looks like DEP managers are reading WolfeNotes, but a few days late and more than a dollar short (update: 7/7/10: Gov. Chris Christie urges N.J. residents to conserve drinking water during drought

Just yesterday, we blasted DEP for being asleep at the switch as drought conditions emerged (see: DEP Asleep at the Switch as Drought Conditions Arise)

We noted that DEP had not updated their drought monitoring indicators assessment in two weeks.  DEP said conditions were normal while United Water imposed mandatory water restrictions in Monmouth County.


The DEP press release narrative closely follows our prior criticism.

Better late than never – but voluntary measures are of limited effectiveness, so DEP has done far too little, too late.

The drought monitoring indicators webpage was updated late TODAY (I checked this morning and the June 23 version was still there).

But, look closely and note  that the text says the update was done on June 30, while the bottom of the page reveals that the Update occurred on July 6 (today). 

Looks like the Update was backdated to create the false appearance that DEP is not responding to our criticism and issued the update BEFORE the United Water mandatory restrictions.

But we are not fooled by such games.

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