September 4, 2020 – Due to four months of below-normal rainfall, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today declared a Level 2 – Significant Drought in all seven regions of the Commonwealth. The drought level remains unchanged from the previous month’s declaration. At a Level 2 – Significant Drought, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, 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.
Wildland fire risk continues across the state. Extended drought conditions have rendered grasses, shrubs, and forest fuels very dry across most of the state, and extremely dry in areas of the Southeast, resulting in increased wildfire risk. Fire officials remind the public to be very aware of this situation, and to be careful with all open burning and disposal of combustible materials.
The state asks residents in every region across the Commonwealth to be very mindful of the amount of water they are using, to be proactive in reducing or eliminating outdoor water use, to reduce indoor water use, and to address plumbing leaks as soon as possible. Limiting nonessential outdoor watering is one of the most effective ways to minimize the impacts of drought on water supply and the environment, and to ensure there is enough water for fire protection. All these steps will help to ensure essential needs such as drinking water and fire protection are being met, and habitats have enough water to recover.
The drought declaration will remain in effect until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.