Press Release

Press Release  Drought Conditions Return to Normal Across Commonwealth

For immediate release:
2/13/2023
  • Drought Management Task Force
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact for Drought Conditions Return to Normal Across Commonwealth

Danielle Burney, Deputy Communications Director

Massachusetts Drought Status 2.13.23

BOSTONToday, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper declared the end of the drought in the Commonwealth, following five months of normal to above-normal precipitation and record-breaking warmth in January. All seven regions are at Level 0-Normal Conditions, including the Islands Region, which was previously declared at a Level 2- Significant Drought, and the Northeast and Cape Cod Regions, which were at a Level-1 Mild Drought last month. The declarations are the result of a recommendation issued from a recent meeting of the Drought Management Task Force, comprised of state and federal officials and other entities. 

“After nine months of Massachusetts regions experiencing drought conditions, I am pleased to declare that every region has returned to normal,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “We thank those who implemented conservation practices at such a critical time and urge residents to remain conscientious of their water use as we continue to experience more extreme and frequent weather events due to the climate crisis.”  

The month of January brought above-normal rainfall across all regions of the Commonwealth, helping with the recovery of groundwater, streamflow, lakes, and impoundments. Normal Conditions, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, recommends that overall water efficiency practices and emergency planning efforts continue at the local level and that state and local agencies work to review, assess, and improve responses and actions implemented during the drought. With the declaration of Normal Conditions, the Drought Management Task Force will not meet again until a region in the state is experiencing drought conditions. However, state agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess conditions across the Commonwealth.  

To help protect Massachusetts’ water resources, larger buildings and businesses are asked to conduct water audits to identify areas of leaks and potential water conservation, and residents are asked to reduce indoor water use and address leaks as soon as possible. These steps will significantly help reduce water use to ensure the Commonwealth has healthy streams and rivers and there is enough water to sustain our water supplies. 

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will continue to provide technical assistance to municipalities in managing systems, including on the use of emergency connections and water supplies. 

“We appreciate the efforts of both the consumers of water who reduced their demands and our public water systems that are on the frontlines of delivering clean water in sufficient quantities to meet our needs,” said MassDEP Acting Commissioner Gary Moran. “We urge consumers to continue their efforts to reduce water demand and help protect our environment whether there is a declared drought or not.”

For further information on water conservation and what residents and communities can do, please visit EEA’s Drought page and water conservation page. 

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Media Contact for Drought Conditions Return to Normal Across Commonwealth

  • Drought Management Task Force 

    The Drought Management Task Force (DMTF) chaired by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, consists of officials from state and federal agencies and professional organizations with responsibility for areas likely to be affected by drought conditions. It also includes representatives of agencies that provide data used to assess the severity of drought conditions or that have the ability to respond to drought conditions, and public health and safety professionals.
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

    EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.
  • Image credits:  Massachusetts Drought Status 2.13.23 (EEA)

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