FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022
City of Kingston Declares Drought Emergency
Effective Immediately, Water Department Places Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble, the Kingston Water Department, and the Board of Water Commissioners have declared a Drought Emergency for all City of Kingston water customers.
At tonight’s Board of Water Commissioners meeting, based on current water levels at Cooper Lake, the Board voted to declare a Drought Emergency for the City of Kingston. Effective immediately, the first stage of mandatory water usage restrictions will be in place.
These restrictions include:
- All leaks must be fixed immediately.
- No washing of cars or other vehicles. Only those commercial vehicle washing operations that recycle 50% of the water used are exempt from this regulation.
- No washing sidewalks, buildings, driveways, steps, or other outdoor areas by any means that is connected to or supplied by the Kingston Water Department.
- All ornamental artificial water features, such as fountains, waterfalls, reflecting pools, etc., that do not use recycled water must be discontinued.
- There shall be no watering of lawns, golf courses, or ornamental shrubs, plants, or trees, except between 9-10pm.
- Pools that are equipped with recirculation equipment may continue in operation and water may be used to maintain the water level in the pool. All pools that are not equipped with recirculation devices cannot be refilled nor can water from the City supply be used to maintain the water level.
All non-residential users of water from the Kingston Water Department shall prepare and retain a water consumption reduction plan, enabling it to reduce its use of water in stages of 15%, 20%, and 25% based upon its consumption during the calendar year. During this Stage 1 of the Drought Emergency, the 15% reduction is consumption is immediately effective.
The complete Rules and Regulations restricting water use during the Drought Emergency may be found at http://www.kingston-ny.gov/water or by calling the Kingston Water Department at 845-331-0175.
The penalty for violating any of these rules is $50 per occurrence.
“With only a few months of water remaining in the reservoir, I urge our residents to do what they can to conserve water in the months ahead,” said Mayor Noble. “The Kingston Water Department is doing everything possible to ensure our residents do not have an interrupted supply of clean, potable water. Efforts include tapping into alternate water sources, disconnecting the Town of Ulster from our system where possible, and working to find leaks in the underground system, but it is incumbent upon all of our residents to do everything in our power to conserve, so that our water supply lasts as long as possible during these dry times.”
Kingston Water Department Superintendent Matt Dysard said, “During the Drought Emergency, Water Department personnel will continue to be actively engaged in leak detection and will be repairing all known leaks as soon as possible. The Board of Water Commissioners intends to work with our residents and businesses, to the extent possible, to reduce consumption and extend available supplies and has included a variance mechanism in these regulations to achieve that goal. To augment our water supplies, we have also begun the process of running temporary pipes to tap NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir. In advance, thank you for your cooperation as we work through this difficult time.”
- Fix leaky faucets. Drips add up. Repairing leaking toilets and sinks lower water and sewer bills.
- Only run washing machines and dishwashers when full.
- Turn off water while brushing your teeth, which can save up to 4 gallons with each brushing. If everyone in the City does this twice each day, we could save 200,000 gallons of water each day, or 5% of our daily usage in the City of Kingston.
- Consider using low-flow fixtures and showerheads.
- Find more water saving tips at www.kingston-ny.gov/water.
The City of Kingston declared a Drought Alert on July 14, 2022, which was the first stage of the Water Department’s response plan for combating decreasing water level in the Cooper Lake reservoir. To accommodate the mandated construction work for the Cooper Lake Dam Rehabilitation Project, the level at Cooper Lake Reservoir was lowered 10 feet below maximum capacity last July. This level must be maintained for the duration of the dam construction, which, in combination with the lack of recent rainfall and warmer weather, has caused the reservoir level to continue to drop.
For updated information, please follow the Kingston Water Department Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KingstonNYWater.