In the wake of a rainy week and Tuesday’s torrential downpour, County Executive Ed Day and Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert have lifted the Modified Stage II Water Emergency, effective immediately. Emergency conditions were originally put in place Thursday 8/18/2022 and established a number of restrictions on water use. Fortunately, those limitations have now shifted from mandatory to voluntary as conditions have improved.
The restrictions were originally enacted in the wake of a drought that has affected much of New York: dry conditions have led to un- precedented fl ow levels in the Ramapo River which limited the use of Veolia’s Ramapo Valley Well Field, a significant source of water
or Rockland residents, which triggered the water emergency. Water usage has fallen about 15% in Rockland County since mandatory restrictions were enacted and families are urged to continue limiting usage and keeping outdoor watering to a minimum.
“I want to thank our residents and businesses for taking this water emergency seriously. Thanks to your diligent efforts, water usage is down 15%,” said Executive Day. “While restrictions are no longer mandatory, we are still urging everyone to continue to keep water usage to a minimum.”
The decision was made Wednesday by the County for several reasons including recent rainfall which has driven up water levels up in the river and Lake DeForest Reservoir. Additionally with polio virus still circulating, the RCDH (Rockland County Health Department) is encouraging more frequent hand washing and does not want families in the County to limit indoor usage that could impact hygiene care. Day also sighted record-high inflation and high gas prices as an additional motivation to lift restrictions. While the emergency declaration was in place, the Public Service Commission was scheduled to add a 25% surcharge to households water bills. Thankfully, that surcharge, which would have gone into effect this weekend, is no longer deemed necessary to discourage excess water use.
“Staying out of the water emergency largely rests with the continued cooperation of Rockland residents,” stated Executive Day.