State Drought Declaration

We are writing to inform you that DEP Acting Secretary Rich Negrin, on behalf of Governor Josh Shapiro, announced drought declarations on June 15, 2023. All 67 counties are in Drought Watch.

The declarations are in response to low stream flows, declining groundwater levels, and, persistent precipitation deficits.

Please review your Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) and update your DCP, if necessary, to account for any changes in either your sources or the demands on your system. If you do not have a DCP or your existing DCP is older than 3 years, you should be preparing one. If you are preparing one for the first time, we have information available to help you on the Drought Forms page.  For technical assistance please call our Water Use and Planning Section at 717.772.4048. DCPs can be submitted online through the Drought Emergency Application (DEA) link provided on the drought forms page.

We encourage you to use our website for Drought Information. We post drought updates on this website regularly to keep you informed of emerging conditions. The website also either provides links to information that is useful for monitoring conditions in your area or educating your customers on various methods of conserving water. If you have a website, you may wish to consider linking directly to the Drought Information Center so your customers will have ready access to our information as well.

Remember, in a drought watch, we should all be seeking to reduce water use by about 5 percent through voluntary conservation measures.

Under a gubernatorial emergency proclamation, public water suppliers providing service to 50 or more customer connections with sources or a service area within a designated drought emergency area are required to develop, adopt, and submit a DCP to the Water Use and Planning Section for approval. In addition, should bans on nonessential water use become mandatory, water rationing may be approved, if necessary, by the Commonwealth Drought Coordinator, as an agent of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council.  Prudent use of our resources now can help to prevent, or at least delay, the need for emergency measures later. If your agency has already declared restrictions (voluntary or mandatory) please notify your local DEP Regional Office.

If you have any questions or can be of assistance to you in any way, please feel free to contact our Water Use and Planning Section by e-mail at or by telephone at 717.772.4048.