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Drought Watch Issued For Large Parts Of New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A drought watch has been issued for much of New Jersey, as a very dry summer gives way to fall.

As WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced the move Wednesday It affects parts of central, coastal and northern New Jersey.

"We had a very dry summer going into a dry fall," said DEP spokesman Bob Considine. "We've had above average temperatures."

Drought Watch Issued For Large Parts Of New Jersey

The affected regions include all or parts of 12 counties, including Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Union.

The Oradell and Wanaque reservoirs are normally more than two thirds full, but now they are about half full.

The affected counties are now under voluntary restrictions, Considine said.

Officials suggest residents should not over-water lawns. They should also fix leaky pipes and turn off the sink while brushing their teeth or shaving, officials said.

"A lot of people do the little things, we can actually conserve a lot of water," Considine said.

The department said if the weather remains warm and dry, it could consider issuing a drought warning.

That could lead to officials asking water companies to come up with plans to transfer water from areas with more to those with less.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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