Pennsylvania Drought Condition Monitoring

PA Drought Monitoring Web Application

PA Drought Monitoring Web Application

The PA Drought Condition Monitoring Application shows the current drought status for each county and hydrologic conditions for precipitation, streamflow, groundwater levels, and Palmer Drought-Severity Index used by PA DEP for drought monitoring.

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Pennsylvania DEP Drought Information

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Drought Program Information

PA DEP Drought Information

PA DEP Archived Drought Status

PA DEP Drought Fact Sheets and Guidelines

Science Center Objects

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection relies upon a number of parameters to monitor water-supply-drought conditions, among which are four parameters displayed herein—precipitation, stream flows, groundwater levels, and the Palmer Drought-Severity Index. These parameters are used only as indicators of the four stages of drought that Pennsylvania uses for drought management—normal, watch, warning and emergency. Actual declarations of any particular drought stage in a given county are based upon a review of these parameters in combination with other considerations. No one parameter or combination of particular parameters automatically establishes a stage of drought.

The background colors of the counties in the maps presented herein represent Pennsylvania's current officially-declared status of the counties.

Drought Watch

A drought watch is intended to alert government agencies, public water suppliers, water users and the public regarding the onset of conditions indicating the potential for future drought-related problems. The focus during this stage is on increased monitoring, awareness and preparation for response if conditions become worse. A request for voluntary water conservation is made. The objective of voluntary water conservation measures during a drought watch is to reduce water uses by 5% in the affected areas. Because of varying conditions, individual water suppliers or municipalities may be asking for more stringent conservation actions.

Drought Warning

A drought warning implements coordinated response to imminent drought conditions and potential water supply shortages and initiates concerted voluntary conservation measures to avoid or reduce shortages, relieve stressed sources and forestall the need to impose mandatory water use restrictions. Development of alternate sources is initiated where and as appropriate. The objective of voluntary water conservation measures during a drought warning is to reduce overall water uses by 10-15% in the affected areas. Because of varying conditions, individual water suppliers or municipalities may be asking for more stringent conservation actions.

Drought Emergency

A drought emergency is a concentrated management phase designed to marshal all available resources to respond to actual emergency conditions, to avoid depletion of water sources, to assure at least minimum water supplies to protect public health and safety, to support essential and high priority water uses and to avoid unnecessary economic dislocations. During this phase, mandatory restrictions are imposed on nonessential water uses as provided for in 4 PA Code Chapter 119. The objective of water use restrictions and other conservation measures during this phase is to reduce consumptive water use in the affected area by at least 15 percent, and to reduce total use to the extent necessary to preserve public water system supplies, to avoid or mitigate local or area shortages, and to assure equitable sharing of limited supplies. During a drought emergency, public water suppliers are authorized to institute water rationing, if mandatory restrictions prove insufficient to protect supplies and if approved by the Commonwealth Drought Coordinator.

USGS Waterwatch Low Flow Conditions

Average streamflow maps:

More Maps and Graphs

Drought Analyses and Management

Drought Links