Summer’s Over but the Drought Isn’t

On Friday, October 6th, Massachusetts Environmental Secretary Matt Beaton expanded the drought declaration across the entire state. The new drought classifications for the state include the following: • West Region: Watch • Connecticut River Region: Warning • Central Region: Warning • Northeast Region: Warning • Southeast Region: Warning • Cape & Islands: Watch The Northeast region in particular is struggling with extremely low levels of precipitation, streamflow, and groundwater. The Secretary is recommending that regions that fall into the “Warning” category institute total water bans and that those in the “Watch” category allow for hand-watering only after 5 pm. To see what watering restrictions your town currently has, click here. For the current Massachusetts Drought Map, click here. The Massachusetts Rivers Alliance has been working closely with both the administration and the legislature to improve the state’s drought response and address inadequacies in the current Drought Management Plan. Many thanks to those who attended this meeting in support of rivers around the state: Pine Dubois of the Jones River Watershed Association, Veronica Eady of Conservation Law Foundation, Margaret Van Deusen of the Charles River Watershed Association, Alison Field-Juma of OARS, and Wayne Castonguay of the Ipswich River Watershed Association.