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State urges WNY residents to voluntarily conserve water during drought

State officials Wednesday turned up their drought advisories a notch – from a “watch” to a “warning” – for 22 Western and Central New York counties hit by severe dry conditions this summer. Under a warning, there are no mandatory restrictions on water use, but residents are urged to conserve water voluntarily.

“Much of Western New York did not receive large rainfall amounts over the past weekend,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, “and continues to experience significant drought conditions with extremely low stream flows and reduced groundwater levels. Residents throughout the state should continue to conserve water whenever possible.”

Only a limited amount of rain is expected over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are due to arrive Friday evening along with a cool front, forecasters said, but a soaking rain is not likely. Sunny and dry conditions should return on Saturday and continue through the middle of next week.

State officials said homeowners can conserve water by fixing dripping and leaking faucets and toilets, watering gardens and lawns on alternate mornings instead of every day, and sweeping sidewalks instead of hosing them down. For more water-saving tips, visit the state Department of Environmental Conservation webpage at dec.ny.gov.

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