Based on recent climatic conditions and extremely low water levels in the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, the City of Winchester is declaring a Drought Warning effective Thursday, August 31. To ensure the City’s continued water security, the Drought Warning calls City residents, businesses, governmental entities, and non-profits to enact an immediate and voluntary reduction of water use in the City by 10 percent. The Drought Warning is the second of three graduated drought stages defined by the Northern Shenandoah Regional Water Supply Plan and State of Virginia Administrative Code 9VAC25-780-120. The City’s Drought Warning Declaration coincides with recent Drought Warning declarations issued by the State of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Frederick Water.
If water supply-related conditions worsen, jurisdictions participating in the Northern Shenandoah Regional Water Supply Plan are obligated to consider additional steps, including the declaration of a Drought Emergency and mandatory water use reductions.
Community members, including residents, businesses, governmental entities, non-profits, and others are asked to immediately reduce water usage by at least 10 percent by enacting some or all of the following actions:
- Do not plant new landscaping or grass.
- For existing landscaping, keep lawns mowed to 2 inches or more, use mulch around plants to reduce evaporation, aerate your lawn, and avoid overfertilizing your lawn.
- Reduce lawn watering to no more than 2 times a week between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
- Avoid the use of sprinklers and water plants using soil-soakers or drip irrigation.
- Place rain barrels under gutter downspouts to collect water for plants, car washing, or general cleaning projects.
- Use a brook instead of a hose to clean driveways, walks, and patios.
- Do not wash hard surfaces or buildings.
- Turn off ornamental fountains unless the water is recycled.
- Do not use the garbage disposal.
- Only use the automatic dishwasher when the load is full.
- Limit showers to 5 to 10 minutes a day per person.
- Avoid running water to get a cold temperature. Instead, keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge.
- Wrap your hot water heater and pipes with insulating material.
- Install faucet aerators.