Pennsylvania environmental officials have put 24 counties under a drought warning and the rest of the state under a drought watch.
Meager rainfall and high temperatures prompted the Department of Environmental Protection to issue the warnings Thursday. DEP Secretary John Hanger says a hot, dry summer has led to steadily declining ground and surface water levels.
Counties under a drought warning include Philadelphia, Allegheny, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Bucks, Montgomery and Washington. Hanger is urging residents of affected counties to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 to 15 percent.
A drought watch is the lowest of three advisory levels and a drought warning is the second-most severe condition. No counties in the state are under a drought emergency.