voluntary-water-reduction-request-expanded-to-new-counties-under-drought-watches-and-warnings
October 01, 2020

Voluntary Water Reduction Request Expanded to New Counties Under Drought Watches and Warnings

Customers in Clarion, Cumberland, Jefferson, Northumberland, Union and Warren urged to reduce water use by 5-10 percent in support of PA DEP’s expanded drought watch; Clinton and McKean escalated to drought warning and urged to reduce water use by 10-15 percent

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2020) – Pennsylvania American Water has expanded the counties in which it is urging customers to voluntarily reduce their water consumption in support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) expanded Drought Warning and Drought Watch. The company is expanding its original Aug. 24 conservation request for customers in eight counties to now include customers in Clarion, Cumberland, Jefferson, Northumberland, Union and Warren counties and providing new guidance to customers in Clinton and McKean counties, which were escalated to drought warning status.

While Pennsylvania American Water encourages its customers to always use water wisely, the company is asking residents and businesses to reduce their individual water usage by 5-10 percent in counties in drought watch status and by 10-15 percent in counties in drought warning status. According to DEP, this amounts to a reduction of 3-6 gallons of water per day and 6-9 gallons of water per day, respectively, based on a statewide average. 

“We continue to ask our customers to observe the DEP’s request and be mindful of their non-essential water use in counties under drought watches and warnings while we vigilantly monitor our drinking water sources,” said Andrew Clarkson, vice president of operations for Pennsylvania American Water. “Our sources of supply continue to meet the needs of our customers, but we want to mitigate the potential for more severe conditions that could lead to stricter conservation measures later this fall.”

Pennsylvania American Water offers the following tips for conserving water inside and outside your home:

  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
  • Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks with our free leak detection kits. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
  • Install water-saving showerheads, toilets and faucet aerators.
  • Consider water and energy-efficient appliances. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes in the sink.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it. When you do, water in the early morning or evening to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway or patio.


Pennsylvania American Water offers multiple water conservation resources in the Wise Water Use section of its website at https://amwater.com/paaw/water-information/wise-water-use. It also is a member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, which developed an online Water Use Calculator that allows you to input water use information specific to your household and offers tips on where you can save water and energy based on that data.

The company also is continuing its social media water conservation campaign to promote wise water use. Get weekly conservation tips by following Pennsylvania American Water on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

DEP issued its first drought watch declaration for 16 counties on Aug. 21, with the support of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force, based on data related to stream flow gauges, groundwater levels, precipitation and soil moisture as well as information from public water suppliers. According to DEP, a drought watch declaration is the first and least severe level of the state’s three drought classifications.

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