CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia is in a State of Emergency due to drought conditions, Governor Jim Justice declared Thursday.
According to the Governor’s Office, numerous bodies of water in the state have extremely low water levels which increase the risk of forest fires and limits water supplies for livestock. The state received 2-5 inches less rainfall than normal over the past 90 days.
Justice has issued voluntary guidelines for the residents of West Virginia to:
- Cease non-agricultural irrigation in the state, including those for strictly recreational purposes.
- Limit washing or cleaning vehicles and/or structures where not otherwise required by law.
- Limit use of public drinking water systems to minimal standards for good personal hygiene, food preparation, laundry, livestock, and pets, and other reasonable purposes.
- Cease the filling of private swimming pools.
Justice has directed state officials to:
- Implement the West Virginia Emergency Operations Plan as it relates to drought emergency response.
- Place the state Emergency Operations Center in stand-by status, unless activation is deemed necessary and appropriate.
- Restrict the use of water for the purposes of dust control at construction and industrial sites, except as required under terms of permits issued for the same.
- Monitor existing water sources for the presence of contaminants, including harmful algae blooms, which tend to propagate more readily in warmer and shallower waters.
Last week, the Governor issued a burning ban that bans outdoor burning throughout the state with limited exceptions.