RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a drought watch for the Appomattox River basin in the south-central area of the state.
The watch issued Thursday is intended to increase public awareness of the potential for a significant drought.
The advisory covers the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward and Prince George. The cities of Colonial Heights, Petersburg and Hopewell are included, as are the towns Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, Crewe and Farmville.
The DEQ says the watch was based on several factors. They include precipitation levels that are down by 1 foot since last October, streams that have slowed to a trickle and declining public water supplies.
The department is encouraging localities and the public to minimize non-essential water use.