Current Drought Status
Effective January 1, 2017 – Although many areas of the state experienced some precipitation in December and the early portion of January, large portions of the state continue 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 Warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Western, Central, and Southeast Massachusetts, unchanged from the month of December; a Drought Watch for Northeast Massachusetts, down from a Drought Warning in the month of December; and a Drought Advisory for the Cape and Islands, unchanged from the month of December. 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.
- December 2016 Hydrologic Conditions file size 1MB
- Drought Status, January 1, 2016
- 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