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Drought Status

Find out the current drought status in Massachusetts, learn about past droughts and find past drought declaration maps.

Table of Contents

Current Drought Status

Drought status declared April 11, 2024. (effective until updated)

Following above-normal precipitation and continued groundwater improvement across most of the state in March, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper declared the Islands Region will be downgraded from a Level 1-Mild Drought to Level 0-Normal Conditions. Groundwater levels on Nantucket are still slightly below normal but have improved since last month and are expected to continue to improve due to forecasted weather conditions. All other regions of the state also remain in Level 0-Normal Conditions. The Drought Management Task Force will monitor conditions closely over the next month to ensure full recovery for Nantucket and will schedule future task force meetings as necessary.

Past Droughts and Declaration

Drought History

The information in this Drought Status History dates to 2001, when the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan was developed in response to a period of deficient precipitation that began 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. 

The Commonwealth experienced another impactful drought in 2016-2017 with drought levels reaching Level 4 Drought (Warning) out of five levels of drought; the drought impacted the agricultural sector, some water supplies, the natural environment and many habitats and species. To read more about the drought, how it fared and the state responses and actions click here.

Past Drought Status Maps

Additional Resources

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