Campus Life

Penn Staters reminded to reduce water use during drought watch

Credit: Pennsylvania DEPAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a drought watch for 34 Pennsylvania counties, including Centre County. Penn State is asking all members of the University community to follow the voluntary practices outlined below:

  • Report all dripping faucets, showers and continuously running or leaking toilets on the University Park campus to the Office of Physical Plant Service Desk at 814-865-4731. For locations other than University Park, contact the campus’ maintenance department.
  • Wash only full loads of clothing and dishes.
  • Reduce shower time, which can save 5 to 7 gallons of water per minute.
  • Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.
  • Do not run water while shaving, brushing teeth or washing dishes by hand.
  • Refrigerate tap water to avoid running the faucet to get cold water.
  • Do not serve glasses of water at food service areas unless requested.
  • Turn off unnecessary water flows and shut down water-cooled laboratory equipment when not in use.

A drought watch, the lowest of three levels of drought status, asks residents for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in nonessential water use. The next stage, a drought warning, calls for a voluntary reduction of 10-15 percent. A drought emergency, the final stage, includes mandatory water use reductions of at least 15 percent. The last declared drought emergency in Pennsylvania was in 2002. It is hoped that sufficient voluntary reduction of current water usage will diminish the need for more stringent restrictions later.

For more information on drought conditions, as well as real-time monitoring of drought indicators, visit the DEP website at

Last Updated June 18, 2021