Water use restrictions for Massachusetts communities. Updated August 16, 2017.
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About Water Use Restrictions
MassDEP monitors municipal outdoor water use restrictions from May 1st to September 30th each year. Water use restrictions and bans are put into place by water suppliers for several reasons. Water use restrictions generally restrict nonessential outdoor watering; this includes activities such as watering your lawn. Suppliers may need to restrict water use because they have difficulty keeping up with peak summer demands, there is a short-term operational issue that necessitates limiting use, or they may be required by MassDEP to implement restrictions to help ensure that there is enough water in our rivers, ponds and streams to support native wildlife and habitat. Regardless of the reason for the water restrictions, these controls help to preserve water for essential in-home uses such as water for drinking, as well for emergency needs such as firefighting. Sometimes, water suppliers may request that their consumers voluntarily reduce their water use in an attempt to avoid having to make water use restrictions mandatory.
Emergency restrictions or bans on nonessential water use are often a last resort for a water supplier; a final measure to reduce water consumption by their consumers. The restrictions imposed by suppliers vary, but often include limitations on the hours of the day you may water, the days per week you may water, limitations on automatic sprinklers or irrigation systems, or may be a complete ban on outdoor watering. To find out why a community has enacted a non-essential water use restriction and the details of those restrictions, please contact your local water supplier or local government.
Contact your municipal public water supplier for updated restriction information: Public Water Supply Contact List for Water Use Restrictions
If you have any questions regarding this map, or if you represent a Public Water Supply and would like to add your community to the map, please contact Jen D'Urso at MassDEP, Jen.DUrso@state.ma.us or 617-654-6591.
Water Supplier Notification Form
Public water suppliers that implement mandatory restrictions are required to notify MassDEP by submitting the Notification of Water Use Restriction form to the Water Management Act Program in MassDEP's Boston office.
The Department of Environmental Protection has developed the "DEP Model Outdoor Water Use Bylaw/Ordinance" to help municipalities and water districts implement seasonal conservation of water supplied by public water systems (PWS). The Model Bylaw also includes options for regulating private wells and in-ground irrigation systems.
On May 9, 2017 the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force met to assess hydrologic conditions in the Commonwealth. Above normal rainfall in March, April and thus far in May has resulted in all hydrologic indices returning to normal conditions across the state. Therefore, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton declared on May 11 the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: Normal Condition levels for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, Southeast Regions as well as the Cape and Islands; down from a Drought Advisory in the month of April, and unchanged for the Western Region.
Information on drought management, drought maps, and a list of Massachusetts towns by drought region. Also links to the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force page.
Status updates, maps, frequently-asked questions, conservation tips, and other resources, provided by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.
May 11, 2017 update of drought conditions in parts of Massachusetts, issued by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.