New Jersey American Water is urging customers in the Jersey Shore area to conserve now and avoid strict water use restrictions later if the dry weather pattern continues.

With a dry weather pattern settled over the entire state, New Jersey American Water is asking customers in Monmouth and Ocean counties to voluntarily watch their water use.

“Because of this region’s increase in population during the summer months, New Jersey American Water is urging customers to begin using an odd/even schedule for outdoor watering to potentially avoid more stringent summertime restrictions of water usage," Carmen Tierno, senior director of operations at New Jersey American Water said in a statement.

A section of North Jersey and Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties are classified as "abnormally dry," according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

State Climatologist Dave Robinson said “the National Drought Monitor considers the bulk of North Jersey as abnormally dry, and far South Jersey, focusing on Cumberland County, also in abnormally dry conditions.”

Normally during the summer because it’s so hot “you get a moisture deficit even though you’re seeing the rainfall, and here we are not seeing the rainfall, seeing the sunshine, and the moisture is just getting sucked out of the ground," Robinson said.

U.S. Drought Monitor 7/14/22
U.S. Drought Monitor 7/14/22 (NOAA)
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When will it rain?

New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow does not see any significant rain for New Jersey through Monday.

"Long-range models still show a hot second half of July overall. Two or three weeks of high humidity and mainly 90s? Sounds like the 'dog days of summer' to me," Zarrow said.

New Jersey American Water said that odd/even watering now will help it manage a "finite supply of water" and allow maintenance of lawns and gardens.

Odd/even guidelines are:

        • Outdoor water use on odd-numbered days of the month if your street address is an odd number (i.e., 23 Oak St., 7 Maple Ave.)
        • Outdoor water use on even-numbered days of the month if your street address is an even number (i.e., 6 Oak St., 354 Maple Ave.)
        • Water early or late in the day to minimize evaporation

Exceptions are:

        • Watering of new sod or seed if daily watering is required (Note: it is recommended that any planting of new sod or seed that has not already taken place be delayed until the fall)
        • Use of private wells for irrigation
        • Commercial uses of outdoor water, such as for nurseries, farm stands, power washing, plumbing, athletic fields, and car washes
        • Watering of athletic fields

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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