Environment
1:11 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Drought Watch Lifted for Allegheny and 14 Other Counties

State environmental officials have lifted a drought watch for 15 counties in western Pennsylvania.

A statement released Friday by the Department of Environmental Protection says rainfall over the last six weeks has improved stream flows and soil moisture.

The counties involved are Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren and Washington.

The drought watch had been issued July 19. Officials said below-normal rainfall had resulted in low streams, decreased groundwater levels and precipitation deficits of up to nearly six inches.

A drought watch is the least severe of the state's three drought classifications. It calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non-essential water use.

Some parts of the U.S., especially in the corn belt, are enduring the worst drought in decades.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.