Drought Status

Find out the current drought status in Massachusetts, as well as find past drought declaration maps.

Table of Contents

Current Drought Status

Map: Massachusetts drought status. Conditions since October 1, effective until updated

November 6, 2020 – Following relatively higher amounts of rainfall in the final weeks of October, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today declared that drought conditions have improved in most regions of the Commonwealth. In the Western, Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeastern, and Islands regions, conditions improved to a Level 1-Mild Drought.

In the Southeast Region, conditions moved to a Level 2-Signficiant Drought after experiencing Level 3- Critical Drought conditions last month. The Cape Cod Region remains at a Level 2- Significant Drought, unchanged from last month’s declaration.

Responding to worsening conditions in the Nashua River basin, Secretary Theoharides declared a Level 2-Significant Drought in the watershed.

A Level 1 – Mild Drought, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, warrants detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance for the affected municipalities. At a Level 2 – Significant Drought conditions are becoming significantly dry and warrant detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, emphasis on water conservation,  more stringent watering restrictions, and technical outreach and assistance for the affected municipalities.

Click here for a list of communities in each drought region or river basin.

While conditions have improved, drought conditions are ongoing in every region of the Commonwealth, and the state continues to urge residents in every region across the Commonwealth to be mindful of the amount of water they are using, to be proactive in eliminating outdoor water use, actively reduce indoor water use, and to address plumbing leaks as soon as possible.

The drought declaration will remain in effect until water levels return to normal in the affected areas.

Additional Resources

Past Drought Declarations Maps and History

Past Drought Status Maps

Drought History

The information in this drought history table 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. 

Additional Resources

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