Drought Resources

Massachusetts Drought Status Map Updated August 24, 2022Updates 

On July 21, 2022, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary placed the Northeast Region of Massachusetts under a Level-3 Critical Drought designation, which remains in effect. As a result, it is important to recognize the potential stress this can place on the water system supply, natural habitats, and resources.

Water resources are vital to our community. We ask that you please take steps to conserve and reduce water usage. There is no mandatory restriction at this time. However, we continue to ask residents and businesses to voluntarily limit non-essential outdoor watering and practice water conservation. Some ways to do this can be found below.

More information on drought status and recommendations can be found on the State’s Drought Management website or by calling the Department of Public Works at 978-640-4440.


Summer Water Conservation Efforts

Outdoor watering:

  • Outdoor watering using an odd/even approach. With this approach, properties with an odd numbered street address would limit outdoor water use to odd numbered dates and even addresses to even dates of the month.
  • Limit outdoor turf irrigation to ½ to ¾ of an inch per week
  • Water during the coolest part of the day, between 6 PM – 9 AM. Early morning is best since it helps to prevent shrub and turf fungus. 
  • Avoid watering on windy days
  • Check sprinkler head distribution so the water stream hits the intended target and does not over spray
  • Inspect and maintain irrigation systems to prevent leaks and waste. To learn how to find and repair an irrigation leak go to the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) WaterSense website.
  • Mow your lawn with a sharp blade. Mower blades should be sharpened after every 10 hours of use.
  • Capture and reuse stormwater on a sunny day 
  • Cover your swimming pool, this helps to reduce evaporation. A pool cover can reduce water loss by 90%.

Indoor water conservation:

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, which could save up to 8 gallons per day.
  • Run the dish washer only when it is full 
  • When washing or rinsing dishes, fill your sink or basin. Don’t let the faucet run continuously.
  • Shower instead of bathing; a half-drawn tub will hold approximately 50 gallons of water. Limit the duration of showers. 
  • Install water shaving low-flow shower heads and aerators on faucets.
  • Check all indoor water -using appliances and devices for leaks. The largest water user inside the home is the Toilet.
  • Check your toilet for leaks. A leak inside the toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day or more. Check by adding a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If there is a leak, color will show in the bowl in approximately 30 minutes

These tips and more can be found on the EPA's WaterSense website