MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some big changes are coming for water customers on Long Island. Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered water companies to cut consumption by 15 percent.

As TV 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose explained, it will require homeowners to make some cuts.

Turning on the faucet to an abundant supply of fresh water is something that most of us take for granted.

But ground water levels have dropped dramatically in the past, especially during times of drought.

“The water table can drop just a few feet, and suddenly you’re in a drought situation,” Stan Carey, chairman, Long Island Water Conference said.

Excessive watering of lawns is the biggest culprit when it comes to wasting water on Long Island.

It leads to a dramatic 125 percent increase in water usage from May through September. Nassau County homeowners are already restricted to watering their lawns every other day, but this year they will face new requirements.

“Nassau County has an ordinance that was updated just this year. It will require rain sensors and that irrigation systems be certified by a lawn irrigation specialist,” Carey said.

Lawn irrigation experts are touting new wireless smart sensors that can tell when a lawn has been watered enough, and then automatically runs the system off.

Massapequa homeowner Roslyn Amadio said she’s willing to give the smart sensors a try to keep her lawn green. She’s well aware that Long Island’s sole source of drinking water comes from an underground aquifer.

“I care about it because we have only so much water down in the aquifer and when that’s gone we’re not going to have anything,” Amadio said.

Water managers said aggressive conservation now will keep Long Island’s water supply plentiful, and that everyone can pitch in through simple measures such as quickly turning off running tap water. If not, mandatory water rationing could be in the island’s future.

The new smart water sensors cost about $250, but some districts are offering customers a partial rebate.


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