Division of Water
WATER SHORTAGE WATCH LIFTED IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL COUNTIES
FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 14, 2005) -- The Kentucky Division of Water is lifting its water shortage watch for the counties in Kentucky's West and Central climatic divisions.
The Water Shortage Watch remains in effect for the Bluegrass climatic division, and a dry weather advisory is being issued for the Central and East climatic divisions. The most recent Palmer Drought Severity Index places the West and Central divisions in a normal moisture status and the Bluegrass and East divisions in moderate to severe drought status.
A dry weather advisory for the Central and Eastern climatic divisions indicates that moisture conditions are not improving, and the potential for drought-related problems remains higher than normal. That includes an increased potential for forest fires. An earlier statement issued by the Division of Forestry indicated that a combination of heavy accumulations of fuel and severe drought have created a higher than normal risk for fires in the state's woodland areas.
A water shortage watch indicates conditions are favorable for water shortages to occur. Significant shortages of rainfall in May, June and July prompted the Division of Water to issue a watch for the Bluegrass, Central and Western climatic divisions on Aug. 11.
Scattered rainfall and the remnants of Hurricane Katrina in late August slowed development of the drought, especially in western portions of Kentucky. However, the state has experienced a return to dry conditions
Since Sept. 1, rainfall amounts have been as low as 20-30 percent of normal in central and eastern Kentucky and are among the lowest on record. However, local water suppliers in most areas have indicated that demand for water also has decreased substantially from levels seen in July and August. Most systems report that water supplies relying on rivers and reservoirs are adequate at this time. Increased rainfall is
expected in November and December.
In the Bluegrass, where a water shortage watch remains in effect, flows in the Kentucky River remain lower than normal due in large part to unusually dry conditions in headwaters in the North, Middle and South forks of the river in eastern Kentucky. Low flows have also persisted in smaller tributaries of the Kentucky and Licking rivers including the Red River in Powell County, South Fork Licking in Harrison County, Hinkston Creek in Bourbon/Nicholas County, and North Elkhorn Creek in Scott County. The water shortage watch will remain in effect for the Bluegrass climatic division until flows in rivers and streams return to normal.
NOTE TO EDITOR: The Palmer Drought Severity Index divides the state into four climatic divisions: West, Central, Bluegrass, and East. Counties included in the West are: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Daviess, Fulton, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, McLean, McCracken, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Simpson, Todd, Trigg, Union and Webster
Counties included in the Central: Adair, Allen, Barren, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Butler, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Grayson, Green, Hardin, Hart, Jefferson, Larue, Marion, Meade, Metcalfe, Monroe, Nelson, Russell, Taylor and Warren.
Counties included in the Bluegrass: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyle, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Jessamine, Kenton, Lincoln, Madison, Mason, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble, Washington and Woodford.
Counties included in the East: Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Greenup, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.