Mass Rivers requests Governor to increase drought response

Mass Rivers and 44 member groups have asked the Governor’s Environmental Secretary, Matthew Beaton, to take specific actions in response to the current drought in eastern and central Massachusetts. We are urging our state to better safeguard our rivers, wildlife, and water supplies during droughts.

Many of our rivers and streams are at record, or near-record lows, and groundwater tables have dropped alarmingly in some areas, jeopardizing water supplies. Mass Rivers members from around the state are reporting wildlife in distress – fish with no water, turtles exposed to predators – as a result of these very low or dry streams. The human cost of this drought is being felt in local economies, businesses, industries and agriculture as water becomes scarcer.

Because we can’t fix problems caused by a drought after the fact, the state’s water managers should require water conservation in affected areas.  They should require residents to minimize or ban lawn watering, a nonessential use, before public wells and streams run dry and reservoirs are depleted. To read about this and other suggestions we have to improve water management during droughts, read our letter here Drought letter.

TheIpswich River, in Ipswich, below a dam. Photo courtesy of Environmental League of Massachusetts (July 31, 2016).

The Ipswich River, in Ipswich, below a dam. Photo courtesy of Environmental League of Massachusetts (July 31, 2016).