PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee issued a statewide drought advisory Tuesday, urging Rhode Islanders to consider conserving water.

The decision was made based on recommendations from federal, state and local experts on the Rhode Island Drought Steering Committee.

“While our water supply is designed to withstand drought, Rhode Islanders should be aware of the current conditions,” McKee said. “As a precaution, I encourage residents and businesses to consider taking water conservation measures.”

The drought advisory comes on the sixth and final day of the state’s second heat wave of the summer. The state first began experiencing severe drought conditions late last month.

McKee has requested the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance monitor its watering activities, including reducing optional water usage and ensuring all piping systems are optimally maintained.

The last time a statewide drought advisory was issued was in September 2020. (That advisory was lifted in February 2021.)

The state is recommending residents consider the following:

  • Water lawns no more than necessary. The average lawn needs only one inch of water weekly.
  • Avoid watering during the warmest part of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) when the water is more likely to evaporate.
  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of spraying them with a hose.
  • Match your washing machine and dishwasher settings to the appropriate load size so you don’t use more water than required.

The drought advisory will likely continue throughout the month of August, with Water Resources Board Chair Susan Licardi explaining that climate predictions call for below-average rainfall.

She said seasonal forecasts anticipate an improvement in drought conditions for September and October, though it’s unclear at this time whether it will be enough for the state to life the advisory.

Water conservation measures aren’t required statewide, however, individual water suppliers may have their own restrictions in place. The state recommends residents check with their water supplier to see if there are any restrictions on water usage.

Several communities, including Warwick, South Kingstown and Narragansett, have already issued water restrictions.

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