Drought watches, warnings and emergencies in Delaware are declared by the Governor, with guidance from the Water Supply Coordinating Council.
In a drought watch or a drought warning, voluntary conservation measures are in effect.
During a drought emergency, mandatory water use restrictions are imposed. Allocated users may have their allocations re-evaluated for the duration of the emergency to protect public access to the available water supply.
The Water Supply Coordinating Council (WSCC) is a collaborative group that includes members from DNREC, the Delaware Geologic Survey, the University of Delaware Water Resources Center and other groups. The Council provides guidance on declaring drought watches, warnings or emergencies.
The severity of drought conditions is measured by the storage of various reservoirs, 12- and 6-month precipitation values, streamflow of various creeks, the depth below land surface of the water table and chloride concentration in waterbodies.
The Delaware Geologic Survey provides summaries of water conditions in Delaware.