Sussex County Delaware

No Water Cuts in
Sussex for Now
Drought 2002 ...

Sussex Water Still OK,
Governor's Office Says

SC Online Content Editor

While drought conditions have brought mandatory water use restrictions in New Castle County, downstate residents will be spared such restrictions "for the foreseeable future," according to a spokesman for Gov. Ruth Ann Minner.

Minner spokesman Greg Patterson said Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002, that although there has been a slight increase in Sussex wells running dry in recent months, reports of dry wells are still "anecdotal," and are not a cause for concern.

Gov. Minner called for voluntary water restrictions in Sussex County last week.

Since May, 78 wells in Sussex County have had to be replaced because they were dry or were not producing adequate water, according to Melinda Carl, spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

By comparison, 61 Sussex wells went dry during the same period in 2001, Carl said. Over the course of the year, 154 dry wells were reported last year, as compared to 122 so far this year. Calculated on a weekly basis, that means 3.0 dry wells a week last year compared with 3.5 so far this year, Carl said.

Since Kent and Sussex counties rely on underground acquifers for their water supplies, as opposed to New Castle's reliance on groundwater, Patterson said the downstate water supplies are less susceptible to harm from the drought.

But he stressed that "when you have this long a time without adequate or normal rainfall, people should reduce their water use."

He said while the water supply has not been significantly affected yet, the drought has without a doubt had a "devastating and approaching catastrophic" effect on agriculture in Sussex.

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