Penn Staters reminded to reduce water use during drought watch

November 18, 2008

University Park, Pa. — The State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for 29 Pennsylvania counties, encompassing all of western Pennsylvania and most northcentral counties, including Centre County. Penn State is asking all affected members of the University community to follow the voluntary practices outlined below: 

-- Report all dripping faucets, showers and continuously running or leaking toilets to Office of Physical Plant (OPP). At University Park, the OPP Service Desk can be reached at (814) 865-4731. One drip per second adds up to 3,000 gallons a year.

-- Only wash full loads of clothing and dishes;

-- Reduce shower time, which can save 5-7 gallons per minute;

-- Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods;

-- Don't run water while shaving, brushing teeth or washing dishes by hand; and

-- Turn off unnecessary water flows and shut down water-cooled laboratory equipment when not in use.

A drought watch, the lowest of three levels of drought status, asks residents for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in non-essential water use. The next stage, a drought warning, calls for a voluntary reduction of 10 percent to 15 percent. A drought emergency, the final stage, includes mandatory water use reductions of at least 15 percent. It is hoped that sufficient voluntary reduction of current water usage will diminish the need for more stringent restrictions later.

If conditions do not improve, the University could begin mandatory water conservation measures. Please help by conserving now.

More information about drought conditions, as well as real-time monitoring of drought indicators, is available on the DEP’s Web site at, Keyword: “Drought.”

  • For more information about drought conditions as well as additional water conservation tips, click on the image above.

    IMAGE: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010