Recent hot weather and lack of rainfall have prompted the Suffolk County Water Authority to ask its customers to conserve water.
The utility posted its request on its website Wednesday, urging consumers to “conserve water whenever possible.”
Last Friday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a drought watch for the state.
“There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch,” the state agency said, “however, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions.”
The Suffolk water agency asked that those using irrigation systems, residential or commercial, adjust from morning watering to evening times.
Most of the water used in such irrigation is from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., the agency said; adjusting the watering times to between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. would shift the burden.
“Keeping nonessential water use to a minimum is critical during this time of the summer, when SCWA pumps are fighting to keep up with peak demand,” the water agency said in its post.
The agency also asked that customers limit other nonessential uses, ranging from the washing of vehicles to hosing down streets, sidewalks and driveways.
Long Island remained in moderate drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor’s least intensive drought category, as of Thursday morning’s update.
Precipitation for July, as of day-end Wednesday, was 1.95 inches, which is 0.18 of an inch below the normal for that period, according to National Weather Service data for Long Island MacArthur Airport.
Since March, four months in a row ended with below-average monthly precipitation. June got 1.13 inches of rain, 3.14 inches below the monthly norm, making it the third driest June on record, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, based at Cornell University.
What’s more, the outlook through the end of October is for drought to persist in the Long Island area, according to the Climate Prediction Center, which is under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
That’s as the Island is in an area where there’s a 50 to 60 percent chance for above normal temperatures — as opposed to right at or below average — for August through October, the prediction center said. No call was made as to precipitation for that time range, other than an equal chance of above, below or right at normal.