Massachusetts Declares Drought Advisory in Four Regions of State
Despite some recent rainfall, the state declared a drought advisory
on Oct. 11 in four regions of the state following an exceptionally dry
August and September, which has caused rivers, streams, lakes and ponds
to be well below their normal levels for this time of the year.
The drought advisory and the stream flows that in some areas of the
state are less than 5 percent of their normal flows emphasize the need
for both consumers and water suppliers to continue to implement water
conservation and demand management measures until the situation abates
and rainfall returns to normal levels. Citizens are asked to abide by
water restrictions imposed by their public water supplier.
The delayed drought advisory also may signal the success of water
conservation measures, particularly out-door water use restrictions,
imposed in many communities during the summer months, state officials
To assist communities in their efforts to conserve water, state
environmental officials announced on Oct. 12 that 21 projects totaling
$662,397 have been awarded grant funding to reduce drinking water
losses as part of the 2008 Water Conservation Competitive Grant Program.
"It is critical for the health of our natural resources and our
economy to better manage our public water supplies, especially within
our most stressed watersheds, and to reduce the attendant energy used
to pump and treat that water," said Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Laurie Burt. "These grants will help
drinking water systems and municipalities to implement projects that
will directly benefit watersheds by reducing the demand on our aquatic
resources and the resulting demand on our local budgets."
Due to the lack of rainfall and low water levels, 78 municipalities
informed DEP this year that they instituted outdoor water use
restrictions to conserve water. Last year, DEP received information on
water bans in just 25 communities.
DEP indicated that approximately two-thirds of the state's public
water suppliers are meeting the appropriate performance standards for
For more information, contact DEP at www.mass.gov/dep.