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Need Rain: 'Severe' Drought Conditions Worsening Across Fairfield County

Watering restrictions remain in effect as severe drought conditions spread across southern Connecticut.
Watering restrictions remain in effect as severe drought conditions spread across southern Connecticut. Photo Credit: Flickr user Michael Mol

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Drought conditions that have plagued the region throughout much of the spring and summer are growing worse in Fairfield County and spreading as autumn approaches, according to the National Weather Service.

The drought for southern Connecticut is now considered to be "severe," according to the weather service.

The “persistent weather pattern” that last week drove Aquarion Water Co. to institute a mandatory ban on watering devices in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan and Darien , is continuing to spread through southern Connecticut as well as parts of Long Island, according to the weather service.

Rainfall in the region fell about three inches short in August and, so far, is about a half-inch short in September.

Officials use several standards to monitor the severity of a drought, including soil moisture, groundwater conditions, river and stream flow, precipitation and weather outlook, according to the weather service. Temperatures in the coming days are expected to be “above average” and accompanied by only “average” rainfall across Fairfield County.

In short, the soil across the region is overly dry, the groundwater levels are mainly “below normal to much below normal” and the rivers and streams are “much below normal,” according to the weather service.

Barring any drastic changes in condition, the weather service said it anticipates releasing an updated drought forecast on Sept. 29.

Reservoirs serving the four Connecticut municipalities where Aquarion has restricted mechanical watering have been on the decline, which prompted the watering device ban. As of Monday evening, hand-held watering in the affected areas was still permitted.

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