Drought 2015

Jefferson County Drought 2015

Jefferson County experienced a drought in the Summer/Fall of 2015, and the county was declared a drought area in the Department of Ecology’s Drought Declaration. The State has a weekly statewide drought monitoring report, you can find them here. And WSU has a nice site on the drought that includes “2015 News on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Restrictions” and “2015 News on Wildfires, Rivers, and Other Drought-related Topics” sections.  Here is a nice summary from University of Washington of current soil moisture, temperature, snow water equivalent and total moisture compared to the historical average.

While one cannot ascribe any one event to be due to climate change, note that warmer winters with reductions in snow pack, and hotter, drier summers, are consistent with the climate change projections for this area. See the Climate Change Plans and Impacts page for more details.

Here are the presentations from the July 14th Jefferson County Drought Forum 2015.

Where Does Your Water Come From?

This map from the Jefferson PUD shows the Water  Service Areas for East Jefferson County. You can find out more about each service area by looking at the Consumer Confidence Reports for your area. If your Water Service Area is the City of Port Townsend, you can find the latest Water Supply Status Report here.

What Can You Do as an Individual to Conserve Water?

The Jefferson PUD is a great resource, and has FREE water conservation kits available for PUD customers. See their page of Water Conservation Tips for details.

The State Department of Health also has a nice summary on Residential Water Use Efficiency.

Here is a nice summary of tips for saving water for residential use from home-water-works.

For a comprehensive list of ways to conserve from wateruseitwisely.com: 100+ Ways for Conserve Water

WSU has a nice 4 page summary on Watering Home Gardens and Landscape Plants as well as 19 page publication on Landscaping for Drought that includes a list of drought-tolerant plants.

How is the Port Townsend Paper Corporation Impacted?

Here is a recent Port Townsend Leader article on how the drought impacts the Port Townsend Paper Corporation, and what they are doing to prepare.

What About Rainwater Catchment?

Washington State does allow rainwater catchment, see here. Jefferson County’s policy on water adequacy requirements for using rainwater collection systems for proof of water adequacy for a building permit is here. King County has a nice FAQ on rainwater catchment, including what it is safe to use your collected water for, here. A good resource for rain catchment systems is the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association.

 What Can I do to Reduce the Fire Risk for my House?

With the drought comes an increased risk of wildfires. Firewise.org has a pamphlet on Firewise Guide to Landscape and Construction, as well as a Two-page brochure on How to Have a Firewise Home.

How Else Can I be Prepared?

Prepare your house and your neighborhood for any kind of emergency – wildfire, earthquake, etc. Learn more here, or come to the upcoming Annual All-County Picnic, which celebrates Emergency Preparedness and Community Resiliency!

Information About Composting Toilets

Here are the State Dept of Health Recommended Standards for Composting Toilets. And here is the list of state approved composting toilets (starting on page 23).

 Other references?

Send ideas on what else to include here to cindy@l2020.org.

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