Drought Status

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

Table of Contents

Current Drought Status

Reflecting conditions since August 1, 2021. (effective until updated)

September 15, 2021: Due to significant rain received throughout most of Massachusetts in August, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today announced that conditions continue to recover across most of the state and declared Level 0-Normal Conditions in the Western, Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, Southeast and Islands regions, same as the last month; the Cape Cod Region is still seeing deficits in precipitation, groundwater, associated streamflow and lake and impoundment levels and remains at a Level 1-Mild Drought, unchanged from last month.

To learn which drought region your city or town falls into, go to https://www.mass.gov/service-details/drought-regions.

Outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, a Level 1-Mild Drought warrants detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities. The declarations were the result of a recommendation issued by the state’s Drought Management Task Force, which is composed of state and federal officials, and other entities. The taskforce will continue to meet until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.

EEA continues to ask residents and businesses on the Cape to be mindful of their water use, select only native and drought resistant plants for any new plantings, and limit outdoor watering to no more than one day a week for Level 1 regions. Other water conservation tips include:

  • Address leaks as soon as possible;
  • Conduct water audits on larger buildings and businesses to identify leaks and potential water conservation opportunities;
  • Minimize the size of where lawns are watered; and,
  • Harvest rainwater for outdoor watering.

Water conservation measures will aid in the reduction of water use and safeguard water for essential needs, such as drinking water, fire protection services, habitat recovery and environmental needs, and sustained water supplies. For more information, please visit EEA’s webpages on indoor and outdoor water use. While water supplies are currently doing fine, individuals are encouraged to also follow any additional watering requirements outlined by their communities’ Public Water Supplier. Additionally, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not currently experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan.

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