Drought Status

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

Table of Contents

Current Drought Status

Drought Status Map, June 2021

Due to rainfall received in June as well as the first few weeks of July, including that from Tropical Storm Elsa, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today announced that conditions have improved across most of the state, and declared Level 0-Normal Conditions in the Western, Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast, Southeast and Islands regions. The Cape Cod region, however, continues to have low precipitation, groundwater and streamflow and remains at Level 1–Mild Drought. And although indices have recovered across the state at a regional scale, there continue to be some variability within regions.

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 recommendations made 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 continues into the growing season and is about the enter its lowest streamflow month of the year, EEA urges residents and businesses to continue to be mindful of their overall water use, select only native and drought resistant plants for new plantings, and particularly in Level 1 – Mild Drought areas limit outdoor watering to no more than one day a week (before 9:00 am or after 5:00 pm only).
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, many communities are proactively instituting watering restrictions; individuals are encouraged to also follow 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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