Water use restrictions for Massachusetts communities. Updated September 28, 2016.
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.
Although most of Massachusetts received near normal rainfall during October 2016, drought conditions continue to persist over large portions of Massachusetts as rainfall longer term remains well below average. On November 1, 2016, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton declared the following drought levels for the Commonwealth: a Drought Warning is in place in Western Massachusetts, up from a Drought Watch in October; a Drought Warning continues in place for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, and Southeast Massachusetts; and conditions on the Cape and Islands have improved to Drought Advisory, although the area remains abnormally dry.
Status updates, maps, frequently-asked questions, conservation tips, and other resources, provided by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.
EEA Press Release: Historic Drought Conditions Continue for Commonwealth, Cape and Islands Downgraded to Drought Advisory - November 9, 2016
November 9, 2016 update of drought conditions in parts of Massachusetts, issued by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.