New Hampshire is officially in a drought

  • NWS—Courtesy

  • Penacook Lake in September 2016. The city’s water treatment facility has see more use from increased irrigation. Concord General Services

Monitor staff
Published: 6/25/2020 9:11:07 AM

New Hampshire is officially in a drought.

The designation, released Thursday by the National Weather Service, is not a surprise. There has been no significant widespread rainfall in the state since mid-May and temperatures have topped 90 degrees a majority of days.

According to NWS records, over the period from mid-May to mid-June, Concord saw just two-tenths of an inch of rain, the lowest amount for that period on record. The normal amount over that stretch is four inches of rain.

U.S. Geological Survey stream flow gauges on the Contoocook River in Henniker, below the Hopkinton Dam, and the Warner River in Davisville all report “very low” readings, the lowest category. It indicates that the amount of water passing the gauge is less than during 90 percent of all historic readings. Below-average snowfall last winter contributed to the problem.

A number of water systems, including Concord, are urging people to limit use and conserve water. Some have banned outdoor watering, although Concord has not imposed any restrictions.

Concord has seen signs of more usage. The city said the Water Treatment Facility “averaged 6.8 MGD (millions of gallons per day) earlier last week and now pushing 7.5 MGD each day this week. For this time of year, the typical amount is 5.5 MGD.”

It reported 6.8 million gallons per day earlier this week, compared to a typical level of 5.5 million gallons for this time of year. The city said this was coming from increased irrigation and outdoor water use driven by drought conditions.

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