State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin issued the statewide watch Wednesday, urging residents to voluntarily conserve water.
Martin says hot, dry conditions that have persisted all summer are taxing reservoir, stream and groundwater levels.
Wednesday's action expands a drought watch already in place for the state's five northeastern counties.
The DEP says residents can help by limiting lawn watering, cutting back on at-home car washing and running washing machines and dishwashers only when fully loaded.
Average statewide rainfall for August was just 2.42 inches. That's more than 2 inches below normal.