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Drought Watch: See which Finger Lakes counties are affected

Several counties in the Finger Lakes region are under drought watch following an announcement from Governor Kathy Hochul today.

The governor directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a drought watch for 21 New York counties on Friday, July 29.

Several Finger Lakes counties on drought watch

NYS is encouraging residents of the affected counties, particularly those with private groundwater wells, to conserve water whenever possible during the coming weeks.

The counties in the Finger Lakes region under drought watch are: Cayuga, Livingston, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins and Yates.

Monroe County is also under a drought watch.

A ‘watch’ is the first of four state drought advisories levels: Watch, warning, emergency and disaster.

Related: Heatwave of 2022: Heat records break as the earth grows warmer, U.S. warned about energy usage and wildfires spreading

Full map of state drought conditions

Credit: NYS DEC

No mandatory restrictions, but residents of impacted counties encouraged to conserve water

No mandatory restrictions are in place under a state drought watch, said the release.

“Recent rains across the state were not enough to address the dry conditions that have persisted this year,” said Hochul. “Local water restrictions and educating residents about how to help conserve our water resources will be crucial steps to help prevent a more severe shortage should conditions worsen.”

The state said dry conditions, below-normal precipitation, low streamflows and low groundwater prompted the drought watch.

Officials are urging local public water suppliers to assess the current situation in their area, promote voluntary conservation and take appropriate actions to manage risk.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said the department would continue to monitor drought conditions throughout the state.

Related: Interlaken residents still mandated to conserve water: When will the problem be fixed? (video)