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Connecticut's Drought Isn't Getting Worse, But It's Not Getting Much Better, Either

The National Drought Mitigation Center / USDA / David Miskus NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC
Connecticut under the latest federal drought report. Areas in red are listed as being in "extreme drought," which is the U.S. Drought Monitor's second-highest classification.

The U.S. Drought Monitor said that more precipitation, combined with low temperatures and minimal evaporation, have increased soil moisture. But the agency is still classifying drought in portions of central and northwest Connecticut as "extreme."

W. David LeVasseur, with Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management, said the drought is linked to below-average rainfalls in state that go back to 2015.

"We have long way to go before we get back to normal conditions," LeVasseur said. "Having said that, obviously the recent precipitation we've had in December and January has been very helpful. At a minimum, it's made sure that we haven't gone further into the drought situation."

Windham and New London Counties are both under a state drought advisory.

Connecticut's six other counties are all under the more severe drought watch, which was declared for the first time ever by Governor Dannel Malloy in October.

While conditions aren't getting worse, LeVasseur said it's important residents continue to conserve water -- doing simple things like turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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