Although summer usually marks the peak of water shortages in Massachusetts, saving water should be a year-round goal. Water conservation helps maintain water levels in rivers and streams, which is essential for protecting habitats as well as the quality of the water that runs to the sea. The following information assembled by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) will help you use water wisely in your home, yard, and business.
Information on Drought Conditions
- The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) maintains a Drought Management page with up-to-date information on drought issues in the Commonwealth, maps and charts that label which regions are experiencing drought conditions, and data used to determine drought conditions. DCR also maintains a Monthly Water Conditions page with information on monthly precipitation and water levels.
- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New England Water Science Center website has links to data, tools, maps, and publications on streamflow, groundwater, and precipitation, including a WaterWatch drought page and USGS drought publications.
- The National Integrated Drought Information System provides extensive information on drought conditions nationwide, forecasts, and a variety of tools for planning for and dealing with droughts.
Water Conservation in Your Home
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense Program provides water efficiency information and links to what you can do to save water, the benefits of water efficiency, a database of water-efficient products, and an online water-savings calculator.
- The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Tips for Saving Water at Home lists easy ways to conserve water (and reduce your water bill).
- MWRA's Water-Efficient Appliances and Fixtures page gives information on low-flow toilets and water-efficient appliances.
- The Operation WaterSense Program from MWRA offers free water-saving fixtures to its residential customers.
- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) Drought Basics and Tips for Saving Water page gives dozens of ideas for reducing water use in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry, as well as outdoors.
Water Conservation in Your Yard
- EPA's WaterSense Program page on outdoor water use gives links to information on designing a water-efficient landscape, watering wisely, and finding water-saving landscape irrigation services, along with a photo gallery of water-efficient landscapes from across the country.
- MWRA's Garden and Landscaping Water Conservation Tips gives detailed information on saving water with your lawn, along with other water-conscious landscaping approaches.
- MassDEP's Lawns & Landscapes in Your Watershed web page provides information on landscape design and maintenance that protects your family and local water resources.
- The Greenscapes website includes information on water conservation. Their downloadable Greenscapes Guide describes how to use attractive, nature-friendly landscaping practices to conserve water, reduce pollution, support wildlife, and protect against climate change.
- Smart Landscaping: A Guide to Water-Efficient Irrigation from the Ashton Real Estate Group has extensive how-to information on measuring water needs, drip irrigation, sprinkler systems, hand watering, and more.
- Water-Smart Landscapes (PDF, 2 MB) by EPA explains advantages and principles of wise water use and provides photographs of water-smart landscape approaches.
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service's Backyard Conservation - Water Conservation web page gives information on choosing the right plants, effective watering approaches, and more.
- The Water Use and Water Conservation web page by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) gives tips on reducing the amount of water used for lawn and landscape maintenance.
- More Than Just a Yard: Ecological Landscaping Tools for Massachusetts Homeowners (PDF, 1 MB) from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs gives details on environmentally friendly landscaping, which includes information on water conservation.
- The Massachusetts Water Resources Commission's Guide to Lawn and Landscape Water Conservation (PDF, 317 KB) provides information for property owners, public officials, and water supply managers on municipal bylaw and ordinance development, drought preparedness, and general landscaping recommendations.
- Information on Outdoor Water Conservation from Angie’s List details why and how to save water outdoors and gives conservation tips for both outdoor and indoor water use.
- CZM’s Coastal Landscaping website provides information on native plants that are appropriate for coastal conditions and require less or no watering.
Water Conservation in Your Business
- The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) offers a range of support and information to help facilities improve water use efficiency, comply with federal and state regulations, reduce wastewater discharge, and implement other effective water conservation measures. See the OTA Water Conservation and Wastewater Recommendations page for details.
- Overview of Water Conservation Techniques and Resources for Massachusetts Industries (PDF, 118 KB), a fact sheet by OTA, gives information on developing and implementing a water conservation strategy.
- The OTA Water Conservation and Wastewater Case Studies page has links to descriptions of how OTA has helped Massachusetts businesses conserve water.
- EPA's WaterSense Commercial Buildings page gives links to EPA technical assistance efforts for businesses, along with water saving tips.
- MWRA's Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Water Management web page can help industries, businesses, offices, and institutions implement practical, cost-effective water conservation and management techniques.
General Water Conservation Information
- H2OUSE is a virtual encyclopedia of DIY strategies for your home and includes a Water Conservation in and Around Your Home page that features information on fixtures, appliances, hot water systems, pools and spas, water meters, landscaping and other outdoor water use, and alternative water supplies, including information on available financial incentives and rebates.
- More than 100+ Ways to Conserve Water are available from wateruseitwisely.com.
- 20 Ways to Conserve Water at Home from kitchenguyd.com gives practical ideas for saving water in the kitchen, bathroom, yard, and more.
- Water Conservation Resources - Save Every Drop! from newair.com gives links to dozens of sources of information on conserving water—from scary water usage statistics to the little things that add up to big water savings.
- 8 Ways to Save Water While Traveling and at Home from Go Green Travel Green provides tips on saving water while preparing to travel and during your trip.