Lycoming County is among some 40 counties in the state under a drought watch.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has also listed four counties as being under a drought warning, which calls for residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 to 15 percent.
A drought watch, the first and least severe level of the state's three drought classifications, calls for a voluntary 5-percent reduction in non-essential water use.
It also alerts large water consumers to plan for the possibility of reduced water supplies.
Among the other area counties under a drought warning are Sullivan, Clinton, Tioga and Bradford.
Cameron, Elk, McKean and Potter counties are under the more dire drought watch.
DEP monitors a statewide network of groundwater wells and stream gauges as a means of determining drought conditions. The agency also considers soil moisture and water supply storage.
Williamsport had a record 13.6 inches of rainfall in the month of May, according to the National Weather Service.
But the summer months this year have yielded much less rainfall as well as numerous above-normal temperatures statewide and locally.
For June, the city's rainfall was 2.25 inches below normal, although .84 inches above normal in July.
Drought conditions for this time of year are not altogether unusual.
How much rain is needed to lift the drought conditions?
"The drought declarations are not based on specific amounts of rainfall," said National Weather Service forecaster Pete Young. "Rainfall deficit is only one factor."
Young noted that summer rains often are heavy, with much of the water running off rather than getting absorbed into the ground.
A wet weather pattern can bring relief from drought conditions.
In the meantime, the following measures can be taken by residents around homes to conserve water:
- Install low-flow plumbing fixtures and aerators on faucets.
- Check for leaks.
- Take short showers instead of baths.
- Run dishwashers and washing machines with only full loads.
- Keep water in the refrigerator to avoid running water from a faucet until it is cold.