Drought Conditions & Response

For updated information from NHDES read the State of NH Monthly Drought Update 

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Please Review this Important Drought Management Communication from the Town of Stratham (from April 23, 2021, update July 14, 2021)

The Town of Stratham Select Board is urging residents to immediately begin water conservation measures on a voluntary basis in response to the current abnormally dry and projected drought conditions.  To learn more about best practices for your household or association when it comes to managing water use, please visit this state repository of efficiency tips.

The Town’s authority to implement water restrictions is only enabled during a state or federally-declared droughts.  Recently, the Select Board confirmed its intention to implement a Level 1 water restriction at the onset of a declaration of drought for our region by NH DES.  The Board intends to post the Level 1 restriction immediately following a declaration and it will become effective three days following posting. 

FULL DROUGHT WATER RESTRICTION BELOW**
**Please note, as discussed above this regulation is only effective during a declared drought for our area of the state.  As of July 14, 2021, no drought has been declared for our area of the state.  The Town asks all residents and business owners to voluntarily implement water conservation measures immediately even in the absence of a formal drought declaration.

Town of Stratham
Regulation Adopted under RSA 41:11-d
Town of Stratham Lawn Watering Restrictions During State or Federally Declared Droughts

LAWN WATERING RESTRICTIONS

I.  PURPOSE
To protect public health and safety by restricting the use of water from private wells or public water systems for lawn watering during a state or federally declared drought.

II.  AUTHORITY
The provisions of this regulation are adopted pursuant to RSA 41:11-d, Choice and Duties of Town Officers. (See Appendix A, Relevant Sections of State Law)

III.  APPLICABILITY
The requirements of this section shall apply immediately after the public notice period described in Section VII to all outdoor lawn watering within the Town of Stratham when administrative agencies of the state or federal government have designated the region as being under a declared state or condition of drought.

IV.  DEFINITIONS
Drought: A sustained and regionally extensive occurrence of appreciably below average natural water availability in the form of precipitation, stream flow or groundwater. The following resources are used by the Town of Stratham to determine the declaration of a drought condition.

i.   The New Hampshire Drought Management Team as designated by the New Hampshire Drought Management Plan and the U.S. Drought Monitor.
ii.  State of Emergency declaration by the Governor’s Office.

B.  Lawn Watering: The application of water to decorative grass at a property.

V.  REQUIREMENTS UNDER DROUGHT CONDITIONS
The following limits to lawn watering will apply under drought conditions. The specified levels (Level 1 through 3) will be determined by the Town of Stratham Select Board and will be included in the public notice required under Section VII of this regulation.

A.  If THE TOWN OF STRATHAM issues a Level 1 restriction, then
i.    Lawn watering by odd numbered addresses is allowed on odd numbered days.
ii.   Lawn watering by even numbered addresses is allowed on even numbered days.
iii.  Lawn watering shall not occur between the hours of 8AM and 7PM.

B.  If THE TOWN OF STRATHAM issues a Level 2 restriction, then
i.     Lawn watering by odd numbered addresses is allowed on Mondays and Thursdays.
ii.    Lawn watering by even numbered addresses is allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays.
iii.   Lawn watering shall not occur between the hours of 8AM and 7PM.

C.  If THE TOWN OF STRATHAM issues a Level 3 restriction, then
i.  Lawn watering is prohibited.

VII.  PUBLIC NOTIFICATION OF WATER USE RESTRICTION
Notification of any intention to restrict water use and the requirements associated with Section V shall be given at least three calendar days before implementation. Notice of the regulations shall be posted in a paper of general circulation and shall be posted in at least two public places. Residents are specifically requested to take notice of the marques at Stratham Hill Park, the Stratham Police Department, and/or message Boards at the Municipal Center and Fire Department.

VIII.  TERMINATION OF WATER USE RESTRICTION
Public notification and termination of water use restriction shall be given in accordance with Section VII.

IX.  ENFORCEMENT
Any sworn officer of the TOWN OF STRATHAM Police Department is hereby granted the authority to initiate any enforcement action against any violation of the provisions of this Regulation.

X.  PENALTIES
Any person failing to comply with the restrictions imposed pursuant to this Regulation shall be deemed a violation and subject to penalties pursuant to RSA 651:2.

First violation: Warning.
Second violation: $250 fine.
Additional violations: $500 to $1,000 fine.

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NH DES - Drought Update 18 - October 22, 2020
NH DES - Drought Update 17 - October 15, 2020
NH DES - Drought Update 16 - October 8, 2020
NH DES - Drought Update - September 24, 2020
NH DES - Drought Update - September 17, 2020
NH DES - Drought Update 11
NH DES - Drought Management Plan
Union Leader article - Drought across NH continues to worsen