Connecticut officials issued a statewide drought advisory Wednesday, asking residents and state agencies to voluntarily conserve water.

The advisory was issued by the state departments of Environmental Protection, Public Health and Public Utility Control, in response to low reservoir levels and streams that are drying up.

The agencies are asking people to take shorter showers, fill bathtubs only halfway, shut off water while washing dishes and brushing teeth, and run dishwashing and washing machines only when they are full.

This is the first time a drought advisory has been issued by the state. The term has been in use since the 1960s.

“It is important that we take steps now to make every effort possible to conserve water, especially as the warm weather returns and we begin spending more time outdoors,” said DEP Commissioner Arthur J. Rocque Jr.

Rocque says it would have to rain 50 percent more than normal over the next three months to end the drought.

Despite recent rain, the state has received about 19 inches of precipitation since last July. That’s about 15 inches below the normal average.

Water companies may be forced to impose restrictions if the conservation efforts fail, said DPUC Chairman Donald Downes.

–Associated Press