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 many areas of the state experienced some beneficial rainfall in November, totals for the month were below normal and serious drought conditions continue across Massachusetts. Therefore, on December 9, 2016, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton declared that the following drought levels will remain in place throughout the Commonwealth: Drought Warning (severe drought conditions with over six consecutive months of below normal groundwater and stream flow) continues for the Northeast, Southeast, Central, Connecticut River Valley, and Western Regions of Massachusetts; and Drought Advisory (abnormally dry conditions with precipitation levels below normal for six out of seven consecutive months) continues on the Cape and Islands.
Status updates, maps, frequently-asked questions, conservation tips, and other resources, provided by the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.
February 10, 2017 update of drought conditions in parts of Massachusetts, issued by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.