Stage 3 Drought Declared for New London and Windham Counties

August 18, 2022

Today the Governor announced that at the recommendation of the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup, he is declaring a Stage 3 drought level for New London and Windham counties due to more serious conditions that are emerging in those areas. All other counties in Connecticut (Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, and Tolland) will remain in Stage 2, as declared on July 14.

There are five levels of declarations under the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan, with Stage 1 representing below normal conditions and Stage 5 being the most extreme.

Stage 3 identifies a moderate drought event, potentially impacting water supplies, agriculture, or natural ecosystems. Stage 2 is a notification of an emerging drought and is intended as an awareness stage regarding the possibility of a developing drought.

The decision to move two counties to Stage 3 is based on an assessment of indicator data monitored by state and federal agencies, including precipitation, surface waters, groundwater, reservoirs, soil moisture, vegetation, and fire danger conditions. The most recent occasion when a Stage 3 drought condition was declared in Connecticut was in October 2020.

The Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup is a state function that consists of representatives from several state agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Office of Policy and Management, and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, with assistance from the National Weather Service and the United States Geological Survey. It meets as necessary to assess drought conditions and make recommendations to the governor on the state’s response.

To avoid further stressing water supplies and other impacts of drought, state and local governments, residents, and businesses are being asked to voluntarily take the following measures:

  • Reduce, to the extent possible, the watering of lawns, recreational and athletic fields, gardens, or other landscaped areas (if watering is essential, late evening hours are best)
  • Avoid burning in or near woodlands or brushlands
  • Report dry fire/irrigation ponds or private wells to municipal drought liaisons or regional emergency management liaisons
  • Postpone the planting of any new lawns or vegetation
  • Minimize overall water use by fixing leaky plumbing and fixtures
  • Take shorter showers
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washing machines with full loads
  • Shut off water while washing dishes, shaving, brushing teeth, and lathering up to wash hands, rather than running the water continuously
  • Avoid washing vehicles or power-washing homes and other buildings
  • Do not use water to clean sidewalks, driveways, and roads
  • Do not use public water to fill residential swimming pools

Residents and businesses should also stay alert for any additional conservation requests issued by their water suppliers or municipal governments. Tips on water-saving measures can be found on the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s website and on the Connecticut Water Planning Council’s website.

For more information on the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup and the Connecticut Drought Preparedness and Response Plan, visit