Responses to a Drought Warning Declaration

The following responses will generally be made upon declaration of a statewide or regional Drought Warning by the Virginia Drought Coordinator:

  • The Virginia Drought Coordinator will issue a press release indicating the reasons for the declaration.
  • The Virginia Drought Coordinator will notify all local governments within the drought warning area of drought warning status.
  • The Virginia Drought Coordinator will advise the Governor and his Cabinet regarding the necessity of authorizing the Departments of State Policy, Transportation, and Motor Vehicles to grant temporary overweight/overwidth/registration/license exemptions to carriers transporting essential emergency relief supplies into and through the Commonwealth in order to support disaster response and recovery.
  • The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will inform all public waterworks within the drought warning area of drought warning status.
  • The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will cooperate with the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo), the Virginia Municipal League (VML), Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF, and the Virginia Agribusiness Council (VAC) in notifying agricultural communities, agriculture interest groups, and local governments within the drought warning area of the potential for federal agricultural drought disaster designation. VDACS will also work with VACo, VML, VCE, VFBF, and VAC in communicating the appropriate procedure for local governments to use in applying to the Governor for federal disaster designation.
  • The DMTF will continue to monitor statewide moisture conditions and provide monthly reports of drought conditions to the Virginia Drought Coordinator. Significant changes in drought conditions will be reported biweekly.
  • The Virginia Drought Coordinator will update the Governor’s Cabinet concerning drought conditions on a biweekly basis.
  • The Governor’s Press Office will encourage media outlets within the drought warning area to publicize updates of drought conditions by developing biweekly press releases.
  • All local governments will be encouraged to review existing local ordinances requiring mandatory non-essential water use restrictions or adopt such ordinances consistent with the mandatory non-essential water use restrictions listed below.
  • All public waterworks and self-supplied water users who withdraw more than 10,000 gallons per day will initiate voluntary water conservation requirements contained in drought water conservation and contingency plans.
  • ll public waterworks and self-supplied water users who withdraw more than 10,000 gallons per day that have not developed drought water conservation and contingency plans will be encouraged to voluntarily reduce or eliminate non-essential uses of watering including the elimination of non-essential flushing of water lines.
  • All persons who utilize any source of water for outdoor irrigation will assure that the minimum amount of water is utilized in the most efficient manner practical.
  • All self-supplied users who withdraw less than 10,000 gallons per day, including well users, will be encouraged to voluntarily reduce or eliminate non-essential uses of water.
  • All executive branch agencies and institutions will initiate the reduction or elimination of non-essential uses of water with the goal of reducing total water usage by 5-10%.
  • VDH will continue monitoring problems incurred by public waterworks on a monthly basis.
  • Local governments and public waterworks may impose water use restrictions consistent with local water supply conditions at any time.
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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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