Current Drought Status
Effective March 1, 2017 – While many areas of the state experienced some levels of precipitation in February, a majority of the state continues to experience a water deficit. As a result, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton has declared the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: a Drought Watch for the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast Region, down from a Drought Warning in the month of February; and a Drought Advisory for the Western, Central, and Northeast Region as well as the Cape and Islands, down from a Drought Watch for the Western and Central Regions in the month of February, and unchanged for the Northeast Region and 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 and federal officials, and other entities, and will remain in effect until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.
- February 2017 Hydrologic Conditions file size 1MB
- Drought Status, as of March 1, 2017
- Description of Drought Indices
Hydrologic Drought Data
Current streamflow data: http://ma.water.usgs.gov/
Current groundwater data: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ma/nwis/current/?type=gw&group_key=county_cd
Drought Management Task Force
The Drought Management Task Force (DMTF) assists in collecting and assessing technical information, facilitates coordination and communication among DMTF members, and provides advice to the Secretary of EEA, the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, and the Governor on the level of drought and agency response.
The Massachusetts Drought Management Plan file size 1MB outlines the responsibilities of various state and federal agencies, the lines of communication and general sequence of actions to be used based on the severity of the situation.
Past Drought Declarations Maps and History
Note: The information in the Drought History table dates to 2001, when the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan was developed in response to a period of deficient precipitation, starting in 1999. The most severe drought of modern times was the drought of the 1960s, equivalent to a drought emergency. A less severe drought occurred in the early 1980s. See Appendix F of the plan for more details: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/eea/wrc/droughtplan.pdf file size 1MB