Division of Water
Water Shortage Watch Issued
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 11, 2005) -- The Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet is announcing a Water Shortage Watch for the Bluegrass, Central and Western regions of Kentucky.
A Water Shortage Watch indicates an increased chance for water shortages to occur in a given area. A watch is a recommendation for planning, preparation and awareness of the drought conditions and impacts to local water sources. Water suppliers in the watch area should begin to monitor water supplies closely and notify the Division of Water as water shortage advisories are issued.
Drought conditions have been developing across most of Kentucky since the beginning of May. August and September are normally the hottest and driest months of the year. Many areas are very short of soil moisture and already experiencing decreased groundwater stores and declining streamflows.
A combination of drought indicators including rainfall, streamflows and the Palmer Drought Index, help to quantify the current severity of drought conditions for each of the four climatic divisions. The indicators establish the drought status as severe for the Bluegrass, Central and West divisions and mild for the East.
Currently, nine systems in the watch area have some phase of water shortage response in action. Most of these are voluntary conservation advisories prompted by unusually high demands for water brought on by excessively hot weather. However, if the current dry pattern persists, the number of systems issuing water shortage advisories is expected to increase in the coming weeks. Not all systems within the watch area will be affected equally, especially those with sources of higher capacity such as the Ohio River, large reservoirs and deep wells. Local officials and water systems are responsible for monitoring water availability and use and planning for appropriate response. Kentuckians should begin to conserve water now to reduce the chances of future shortages in water supplies and strictly adhere to water conservation mandates.
NOTE: The Palmer Drought Severity Index divides the state into four areas: West, Central, Bluegrass, and East. Counties included in the Western area 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