DROUGHT WATCH: Lack of rain exposes areas at Manasquan Reservoir
New Jersey is in a drought watch, and the state Department of Environmental Protection is asking all residents to conserve water.
The lack of rain has exposed areas of land at the Manasquan Reservoir that are not normally seen, with one park superintendent telling News 12 the water level is probably 4 to 5 feet lower than normal with timbers that are normally underwater now exposed.
“You can see along the dam the difference between the high-water line and the wintertime and right now,” says Frank Huza, of Aberdeen.
It’s believed the 4-billion-gallon reservoir is down closer to 75% capacity due to the drought. State officials are concerned as recent data shows groundwater levels along the coast are severely dry, with other reservoirs showing a serious loss of water with abnormally dry conditions.
“When I went here a few weeks ago, the water level was really low, it’s like a puddle,” says Joseph Korbul, of Hazlet.
The DEP says 30% of water use in the summer is for outdoor purposes, and that’s the type of water use that could be scaled back to conserve.
While swimming is not allowed at the reservoir, kayaking and fishing is allowed, and all programs are still being offered for now. But if the water gets too shallow, some activities will need to be canceled.
Towns such as Fair Lawn in Bergen County and Denville in Morris County are asking residents to conserve or not use any water outside at all.