KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Kingston is in the middle of a drought emergency as summer temperatures continue to rise. The drought impasse was declared at Tuesday night’s Board of Water Commissioners meeting.

According to the City of Kingston, water levels at Cooper Lake are low and mandatory water usage restrictions had to be implemented immediately. Back on July 14, Kingston declared a drought alert.

The rules of the drought emergency are as follows:

  • Any leaks must be fixed immediately
  • No personal cars or vehicles can be washed. Commercial vehicles can be washed only if 50 percent is recycled
  • Washing of sidewalks, buildings, driveways, steps or other outdoor areas is prohibited
  • Any ornamental artificial water features such as fountains, waterfalls or reflecting pools that don’t use recycled water must be stopped
  • Watering of lawns, shrubs, golf courses or trees can take place only between 9 to 10 pm
  • All pools that are not furnished with recirculation devices cannot be refilled nor can water from the Kingston supply be used to maintain the water level. Pools that are armed with recirculation equipment may continue in operation and water may be used to maintain the water level in the pool 

There is a penalty of $50 for any violation of the water usage rules, city officials said.

“With only a few months of water remaining in the reservoir, I urge our residents to do what they can to conserve water in the months ahead,” said Mayor Steven T. Noble. “The water department is doing everything possible to ensure our residents do not have an interrupted supply of clean, potable water. Efforts include tapping into alternate water sources, disconnecting the Town of Ulster from our system where possible, and working to find leaks in the underground system, but it is incumbent upon all of our residents to do everything in our power to conserve so that our water supply lasts as long as possible during these dry times.”

Non-residential users of water from the water department shall form and retain a water consumption reduction plan, enabling them to reduce their use of water in stages of 15, 20, and 25 percent based on their consumption during the calendar year. This is the first stage of the drought emergency and a 15 percent reduction of water consumption is currently in effect.

“During this time, water department personnel will continue to be actively engaged in leak detection and will be repairing all known leaks as soon as possible,” said Kingston Water Department Superintendent Matt Dysard. “We intend to work with our residents and businesses to reduce consumption and extend available supplies and include a variance mechanism in these regulations to achieve that goal. To augment our water supplies, we have also begun the process of running temporary pipes to tap NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir.”

For further information on the rules and regulations for the water emergency in Kingston, call 845-331-0175. Follow NEWS10 for continuing updates on this story.