The following is a republished press release from the Tompkins County Health Department and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact me at

ITHACA, NY – The Tompkins County Health Department is reminding residents of the continued need for water conservation, despite the rain that’s been received in recent days.

“The rain we have received has produced some short-term improvement,” notes Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “However, it is important to note that weather reports for our area support continued drought, despite some rainfall received over the past three days. Tompkins County needs 6 to 9 extra inches of rainfall to alleviate much of the drought impact.”

Mr. Kruppa noted that three-quarters of an inch of rain per week would help reverse drought conditions.

“We thank the community for taking this issue seriously and coming together to reduce consumption,” Kruppa said, “but it’s important to remember that we’re not ‘out of the woods’ yet. It’s important to continue in our efforts to conserve water—both in terms of our ongoing forecast for continued drought and because additional demand on our water sources is expected, once our local population increases with the return our the student population later this month.”

The Health Department continues to urge both residents and businesses to follow these practices to conserve water:

 Do not hose down sidewalks, patios or driveways.

 Stop watering lawns.

 Use hand watering for valuable plants and vegetable gardens, and water in the morning or


 If you run your water before using it for cooking, drinking, or showering/bathing, capture

the unused water in a bucket and use for watering plants or filling toilet tanks.

 Do not run washing machines or dishwashers until you have a full load.

 Take shorter showers: If you normally take a 5 minute shower, take a 4 minute shower

for an immediate 20% water reduction. Better yet, take a 3 minute shower for a 40%


 Turn off the water in the shower while lathering or shampooing.

 Install low flow shower heads or other water saving devices.

 Use bath water to fill your toilet tank.

 Flush toilets every other time if possible.

 Do not leave water running while washing dishes, brushing your teeth or shaving.

 Be conservative about your overall daily use.

Additional steps that businesses can take:

1. Restaurants should only serve water to patrons who request it and should inform patrons

of the need to conserve water.

2. Reduce or stop landscape irrigation.

For more water-saving tips, check out the EPA Water Sense web page at:

For local updates, visit: Tompkins County Health Department website at:

City of Ithaca website at:

For more information on the drought: Northeast region map of drought conditions; updated regularly by the National Drought

Mitigation Center:

Northeast Regional Climate Center special report on the drought, July 2016:

(Featured photo: Michael Smith / The Ithaca Voice)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.