Lower than average rainfall is prompting officials in Newmarket to limit water use for the first time in a decade.
Residents and businesses who use the town's municipal water system may only water their lawns twice a week: odd numbered addresses on Mondays and Wednesdays, and even numbered addresses on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Residents and businesses owners are also barred from washing or cleaning streets, driveways and sidewalks. For now, watering flower and vegetable gardens with a handheld hose is permitted, but those wanting to wash their cars will have to go to a commercial facility.
Town Administrator Steve Fournier says the goal of the new restrictions is to make sure the water shortage does not get worse.
However, Fournier warns that, "if the level continues to drop and it gets below a certain threshold, then we will have to go to the next level, which is further restrictions in banning any outdoor usage of water."
First violators will get a warning. After that, they face fines and the possibility of their water being shut off.
The restrictions will be in place until the water levels return to normal.