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Drought Prompts Southern N.H. Towns to Limit Outdoor Water Use

lrargerich via Flickr/Creative Commons

  Seabrook is one of the latest New Hampshire towns to institute restrictions on water use amid a summer drought. 

The emergency restrictions place tight limits on residents' outdoor water use - no watering of laws or washing cars, for example.

Gardeners can use handheld watering cans or buckets but not hoses.

Water superintendent Curtis Slayton says between the summer's below-average rainfall and the mild winter precipitation, the town's pumping capacity is down.

"Last year at this time we could pump around 2.9 million gallons a day," Slayton says. "We are currently at 2.3 million gallons in 24 hours."

The restrictions are in effect until October, though Slayton says they could be extended.

This week the town of Salem also put new limits on residential water use, after the U.S. Drought Monitor declared parts of southern New Hampshire were in a severe drought.

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