Mandatory outside water use restrictions have been put into place by Aquarion for North Hampton and Rye as "abnormally dry" conditions persist on the Seacoast.

Most of the Seacoast is considered to be one step away from drought conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor and is running at a rainfall deficit. Groundwater is at lower levels than normal reducing the production capacity of wells, according to Aquarion.

"As of Tuesday morning, the Seacoast of New Hampshire is between one to two inches below average for the first three weeks of the month. It's actually even a little higher when you look at southwestern Maine where it's two to three inches below average," National Weather Service meteorologist Hunter Tubbs told Seacoast Current.

The news is worse looking at the past six months as the deficit is nearly six inches in some areas and 15-20 inches below average going back one year.

"It's going to take several large events to make up for these deficits," Tubbs said. "The next chance of rain doesn't come in until Saturday afternoon into Saturday night and then maybe through Sunday."

That will not be the needed 6 to 12 hour steady light to moderate rain.

A thunderstorm with a deluge of rainfall will not do much to help as it will mostly just run off and doesn't have time to soak into the ground.

"It can help with the near surface conditions temporarily but it's not going to get far below the surface," Tubbs said.

The restrictions being put in place by Aquarion include:

  • Limiting lawn watering to two times a week. Even numbered houses should water only on Sunday and Wednesday while odd numbered houses should water Saturday and Tuesday. No address numbers should water on Sunday and Wednesday.
  • Water between midnight and 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. and midnight.
  • Avoid waste by not watering impermeable surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways.
  • No watering is necessary if it has rained within the last 48 hours.
  • Hand watering is strongly encouraged for gardens, flowers and other ornamentals because it is a much more efficient use of water.
  • Efficient use of water now will reduce the possibility of a watering ban later in the summer.
U.S. Drought Monitor map of NH (U.S. Drought Monitor )

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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