TRENTON (CBSNewYork) — A drought warning has been issued in New Jersey for the first time in more than a decade.

Fourteen counties in the Garden State have been issued a drought warning. It’s the first time in 15 years that has happened.

WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reports Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner issued the warning for Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.

This will enable the state to more closely manage reservoir systems.

DEP spokesman Larry Hanis said residents are being urged to cut back on essential use.

“Such as watering of lawns or watching cars voluntarily,” said Hanis.

Rainfall is nearly 13 inches below normal in the northern part of the state.

A drought watch remains in effect for Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties.