(Norwalk, Conn.) Today, December 13, Mayor Rilling announced that he is lifting the Water Emergency for the City of Norwalk, effective immediately. Mayor Rilling declared the Water Emergency on October 7, 2022, due to historically low levels of rainfall this year that directly impacted Norwalk's reservoir levels. This announcement follows weekly updates the City received about the reservoir levels in partnership with the First Taxing District Water Department and the South Norwalk Electric and Water Company (SNEW).
During the second half of November into December, the City of Norwalk received considerable rainfall, allowing water reserves to reach an acceptable level. As of December 12, Norwalk received 41.4 inches of rain during 2022, making the reservoirs 74% full, a high enough level to allow for normal operations and usage. In comparison, on November 12 the reservoirs were 41% full, demonstrating how the rainfall made a significant impact over the past month. This new level allows the City of Norwalk to move out of its drought status.
Additionally, the First Taxing District Water Department and SNEW saw a visible drop in demand for water usage due to the community's conservation efforts. After Mayor Rilling declared the Water Emergency, the First Taxing District Water Department saw the demand go from 174 million gallons in September to 142 million gallons in October, which impacted the City's water levels.
"I'm happy to report that due to the considerable amount of rainfall Norwalk received over the past month, combined with the community's effort to conserve water, I am lifting the Water Emergency," said Mayor Rilling. "While our reservoirs have reached a high enough level for normal operations, I want to remind everyone that we are not completely out of the woods yet and must always be mindful of how we can each reduce our water usage. I also want to thank the community for conserving water during this Emergency to help prevent a much larger water crisis. Each person's water conservation measures made a considerable difference, and it makes me proud to know that Norwalk is a community where people come together to look out for one another."
"We appreciate the City using their extensive social media to broadcast the severity of the drought and the Mayor exercising the authority of his office to encourage residents to conserve water,” said Eleanor Militana, General Manager for the First Taxing District. "These conservation efforts allowed the District to weather the drought until rain levels rose. We thank our customers and all Norwalk residents for their efforts in conservation during the drought and remind everyone that water conservation is always critical."
The Water Emergency announcement on October 7, 2022, followed Mayor Rilling issuing a Drought Advisory for the City on July 15, 202, in partnership with the First District Water Department and the South Norwalk Electric and SNW due to lower-than-average precipitation rates and drier than normal conditions earlier this year.
The City, the First District Water Department and SNEW continue to remind residents to take the following steps to continue to help conserve water:
- Take shorter showers and skip baths altogether (a full bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water);
- Only wash full loads of laundry;
- Check for leaks around the house, including leaky toilets;
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator so you don't have to run the faucet while it cools;
- Stop rinsing dishes before you place them in the dishwasher;
- Take your car to the automatic car wash instead of washing it at home;
- Reuse water for your plants wherever you can;
- Apply mulch to plants, shrubs and ornamental trees to reduce water evaporation from the soil; and
- Switch from a hose to a broom for cleaning your patio.
You can find more tips on conserving water on the First District Water Department's website at https://www.firstdistrictwater.org/easy-ways-to-conserve-water, and SNEW's website at https://www.snew.org/conservation/conservation-tips/.