HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is maintaining a drought watch for 27 counties across the state due to below-average groundwater levels, and in some areas, low surface water levels, according to a press release.

The lack of groundwater recharge can cause public and private well-fed water supplies to go dry, stated the release.

“We are still recovering from a very dry fall and below-normal precipitation this winter,” said Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley. “These factors have contributed to low groundwater and surface water levels mostly in the northeast and central portions of the state.”

Counties under the drought watch, reported the release, include: Berks, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Westmoreland and Wyoming.

DEP is advising all Pennsylvania residents to conserve their water use and consumption, continued the release.

All water suppliers in the affected areas have been notified by DEP to monitor their supplies, especially those that rely on groundwater, and to update their drought contingency plans as necessary, noted the release.

You can find the release here.