An outdoor water faucet Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

Gov. Ned Lamont asked Connecticut residents to conserve water Thursday as state officials declared that all eight counties were beginning to experience drought conditions due to lower than typical precipitation. 

Lamont, who was in Maine for a National Governors Association meeting this week, approved recommendations by an interagency working group to declare the entire state as experiencing an emerging drought event. 

“Residents should be mindful of their water consumption and take sensible steps to reduce impacts on other water uses and on the environment,” Lamont said in a press release. “We must begin early steps now to mitigate the potential for harm should the drought become prolonged.”

In a statement, officials asked residents to voluntarily minimize their water consumption by reducing their outdoor irrigation, delaying plans to plant new lawns, and fixing leaky plumbing. 

The announcement puts Connecticut in “Stage 2” of a drought plan, meaning a shortage of water could begin to impact water supplies, natural ecosystems and farming. The state experienced similar conditions five times since 2000, most recently in 2020 when four counties reached the more severe “State 3” designation. 

Martin Heft, chair of the Interagency Drought Workgroup and an undersecretary with the Lamont administration urged residents to reduce their water consumption. 

“The combination of precipitation shortfalls and an extended period above normal temperatures have impacted the state’s water resources and increased demands upon them,” Heft said. “Residents should not be alarmed, but begin taking steps now to reduce their water usage.“

But not all water systems in the state are asking residents to conserve.

The Metropolitan District Commission which serves eight towns in the Greater Hartford area said it has an adequate supply.

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