State issues drought advisory for Western Massachusetts

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not currently experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has issued a series of drought warnings, watches and advisories across the commonwealth.

The Northeastern United States, including Massachusetts for the fifth straight month, has been experiencing various levels of drought conditions.  On Friday, the EEA issued a Drought Warning for Central and Northeast Massachusetts, up from a Drought Watch in July; a Drought Watch for Southeast Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley, up from a Drought Advisory in July; and a Drought Advisory for Western Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands. The declaration was the result of a recommendation issued from a recent meeting of the Drought Management Task Force, comprised of state, federal and local officials, and will remain in effect until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.

Because of the extremely dry conditions there is an increased threat of brush and forest fires. There is also extremely low groundwater and streamflow levels.  During a Drought Warning, the EEA will work with state and federal agencies to support municipalities with technical outreach and assistance, monitoring and tracking.

Certain water uses are not subject to mandatory restrictions, which include: for health or safety reasons; the production of food and fiber; the maintenance of livestock; and to meet the core functions of a business. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is providing technical assistance to communities on managing systems, including assistance on use of emergency connections and water supplies, as well as assisting towns on how to request a declaration of drought emergency.

Find out more about the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan.

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