CLOSTER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With a moderate drought underway in northern New Jersey, homeowners are being asked to conserve water.

Pedro Reyes, of Closter, told CBS2’s Mark Morgan he normally waters his yard about five times a week, but he has cut that to just once a week following a phone call his wife received from United Water asking the family to limit their usage.

They were urged “basically to not use the sprinkler system and conserve water. That’s the general message she let me know about it.

“As you can see, the yard, the grass is dying. The plants are dying, too. I try to do my best.”

Reyes said the recorded message stated that the request may become mandatory if the drought gets much worse.

According to the National Weather Service, five New Jersey counties are suffering from moderate drought conditions: Passaic, Essex, Union, Bergen and Middlesex.

In Bergen County, many yards are dry, parched and brown.

The drought’s effects are everywhere. At a reservoir in Harrington Park, the water level is so low that deer have been spotted grazing where water used to be.

Mark Goerg, of Harrington Park, said the dry conditions are the worst he’s see in the last decade.

“It’s been so hot at night that everything just evaporates,” he said. “The lawns, everything’s burning up. I’m trying to keep the bushes alive at this point.”

New Jersey residents need relief in the form of a good, soaking rain. But they haven’t seen that type of downpour for months.