PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The state Department of Environmental Protection has placed all of southeastern Pennsylvania under a drought watch.

A drought watch is the first and least severe level of Pennsylvania’s drought classifications, asking residents to voluntarily conserve water.

DEP spokeswoman Jamie Legenos says there are several factors considered in evaluating the water supply situation.

“One is precipitation. The other is stream flow, groundwater and soil moisture. With those four indicators there has been a deficit over time with the dry, hot summer that we’ve had.”

DEP says precipitation deficits over the last 90 days run as much as 4.4 inches below normal in Chester County, although Chester County is only under a drought watch, along with 39 other counties in the state.

Four counties in north central Pennsylvania – Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter – have been placed under more severe drought warning.

Reported By Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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