Drought warning in 24 Pa. counties

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - September 17, 2010

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.

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