Penn State community asked to reduce water usage during drought watch

September 21, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for 18 Pennsylvania counties, including Centre County. Penn State is asking all members of the University community to follow the voluntary practices outlined below:

  • Report all dripping faucets, showers and continuously running or leaking toilets on the University Park campus to the Office of Physical Plant Service Desk at 814-865-4731. For locations other than University Park, contact the campus’ maintenance department.
  • Wash only full loads of clothing and dishes.
  • Reduce shower time, which can save 5 to 7 gallons of water per minute.
  • Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.
  • Do not run water while shaving, brushing teeth or washing dishes by hand.
  • Refrigerate tap water to avoid running the faucet to get cold water.
  • Do not serve glasses of water at food service areas unless requested.
  • 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% reduction in nonessential water use. The next stage, a drought warning, calls for a voluntary reduction of 10% to 15%. A drought emergency, the final stage, includes mandatory water use reductions of at least 15%. It is hoped that sufficient voluntary reduction of current water usage will diminish the need for more stringent restrictions later.

For more information on drought conditions, as well as real-time monitoring of drought indicators, visit

Last Updated June 18, 2021