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. Reflecting Conditions since March 1, 2021, effective until updated

With precipitation, streamflow, and groundwater below normal as the state enters the spring season, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared a Level 2-Significant Drought in the Southeast Region of the Commonwealth, a Level 1-Mild Drought in the Western, CT River Valley, Central, Northeast, and Cape Cod Regions, and a Level 0-Normal Conditions in the Islands Region. Today’s declaration elevates the March 2021 declaration, which was a Level 1 in the Western Region of the Commonwealth, while all other regions of the state were in Normal Conditions.

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 2-Significant Drought warrants the convening of an inter-agency Mission Group to more closely coordinate on drought assessments, impacts and response within the government. 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.

As the Commonwealth enters into the growing season and more time is spent outdoors, EEA urges residents and businesses to reduce water use, select only native and drought resistant plants for new plantings, and limit outdoor watering to no more than one day a week for Level 1 regions, and handheld watering for Level 2 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

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