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EPA Warns Garden State Is Drying Up

Oradell Reservoir

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New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection said an increased demand for water has caused a serious drop in reservoir levels, CBS 2′s Christine Sloan reports.

Living in the northeast, you may take water for granted. However, the Garden State is asking residents in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic Counties to voluntarily conserve and to cut back on watering their lawns.

Ralph Fragola has already started the process with rock landscaping on his front lawn and special grass.  “The grass is zoia. It turns brown in the wintertime and it really needs little mowing and a lot less watering,” he said.

To see how serious  problem this can be, the Oradell Reservoir is half full. If it were at capacity, you’d see two billion more gallons of water and you wouldn’t be able to see a shoreline.

“It’s very possible we could enter a stage where there would be restrictions imposed, but we’re a while away from that. There is no reason to panic here,” said Rich Henning of United Water.

While the DEP said watering your lawn twice a week should be sufficient..bergen county residents like Wayne Kelly worry that cutting back could end up costing him more money. “I’m sitting on an acre of land, so it’ll cost me a pretty penny to, you know, to replace it.  So I definitely, I got to water it,” he said.

Other DEP tips to save on water include: fixing  leaky faucets and pipes, turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth or shave, using the washing machine when it’s full, and sweeping your sidewalk instead of using a hose.

All are measures to prevent a serious water emergency down the line.