MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — As the dry conditions continue in Connecticut, local farmers are going to great lengths to save their crops.

Farmers at Whittle’s Willow Spring Farm have used their irrigation system to drain water from their own water supply in order to water their crops this summer.

The farm has taken about 9 million gallons of water from its three ponds but not without an extra cost.

“We would lose everything without our own water,” said Rick Whittle, the Owner of Whittle’s Willow Spring Farm.

The drought brought the water level down a couple of feet because the farm needs to draw the water from it, in order to water their crops. The drainage of the water has left the pond down an additional eight feet.

There have been calls to conserve water across the state and a water plan has been implemented to ensure water supplies do not run dry. Farmers are usually exempt from water bans.

The farm draws water from its own ponds and it does not affect the local water supply.

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Concern for farmers was voiced at Thursday’s meeting of the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup which unanimously voted to recommend the governor declare stage 3 drought conditions for New London and Windham counties.

“We’re very concerned that this ongoing drought will reduce the yields, particularly in our grain corn and hay fields which will result in dairy farms having to purchase in supplemental nutrition,” said Bryan Hurlburt, Commissioner of the CT Department of Agriculture.

Stage 3 means residents are asked to voluntarily conserve water by taking shorter showers and not water gardens or wash their cars. They are also asked to avoid outdoor burning near woodlands.

That’s for both New London and Windham Counties. Within them – two towns East Lyme and Putnam are issuing their own mandatory restrictions.

Putnam is banning the use of water for watering lawns and gardens, washing vehicles and other non-essential uses. That ban will be enforced.

Rick Whittle is worried whatever rain finally comes may still not be enough to reverse these conditions.

“I can’t have nothing to start next year exactly so we do need it to refill.”