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A drought is generally defined as a period of below-average precipitation in a given region, resulting in prolonged shortages in water supply. A drought can last for months or years, and can have a substantial impact on the environment, ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region.
Drought conditions can lead to insufficient supplies of water for drinking, household usage, fire suppression, agriculture. Water sources, including reservoirs, groundwater, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, can be greatly impacted, and can result in loss of water supply, crop damage, and significant effects on the environment.
Before and during a drought, taking steps to reduce water usage both inside and outside your home can help conserve water and minimize impacts to availability of water supplies. Efforts for conserving water should be made by both consumers of municipal water supplies, as well as private well owners.
The State’s Drought Management Task Force evaluates drought conditions and impacts, and provides recommendations to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs on classifying drought levels for the various regions of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has six drought regions (West, Connecticut River, Central, Northeast, Southeast and Cape/Islands), and the following five drought level classifications:
For the additional details on drought regions and current drought classification levels, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/eea/drought/.
Make water conservation practices a part of your daily life and help preserve this essential resource.
Indoor Water Conservation Tips Prior to a Drought
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips Prior to a Drought
Follow all state and local restrictions on water use, even if you have a private well (groundwater levels are affected by private well use). Contact your local water supplier or check MassDEP’s Municipal Water Use Restrictions page for current status.
Indoor Water Conservation Tips While in a Drought
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips While in a Drought