Drought forces Rockland business owners to adapt to water restrictions
Water restrictions in Rockland County brought on by drought are impacting more than just front lawns - business owners are also being forced to adapt.
The prolonged lack of rain has led to record low levels in the Ramapo River, which is a major source of water for the county, so now there are restrictions across the board.
The drought has now forced Rockland County officials to enter a Modified Stage II Water Emergency. This puts several restrictions into place in an effort to conserve more water.
Not only are there now rules as to when and how often people in Rockland can water their lawns but restrictions also ban restaurant owners from serving water unless a customer asks for it.
For some business owners the mandates are a huge challenge. For example, nurseries must to reduce their water usage by 10% despite their products, like plants and flowers, needing water. "The residential and commercial water restriction should be separate because this is our livelihood. They need to get watered every single day," says Tina Celetti-Ostnader, manager at Celetti Nursery.
County officials say the next four to five weeks are likely to be tough and will determine if even stricter mandates are necessary. They say they are are responding to reports of violations and can fine people $2,000 a day per violation.
They also warned the next month will be critical. One official tells News 12 he believes the county will reach a higher water emergency level by the end of the month.