State Impacts

This tool sorts and displays impacts by state from the Drought Impact Reporter through 2022. Users can filter impacts by U.S. Drought Monitor status, season, weeks in drought, industry and date range. The Drought Impact Reporter records impacts that have been documented in news media. This may provide insight on what to expect when a state is experiencing a certain level of drought.

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Start Date Seasons Weeks in Drought Historically observed impacts Impact Description
2022-11-14fall0Some parts of Massachusetts remain in droughtParts of Massachusetts remained in drought despite recent rain. The islands were still in Level 2 significant drought, while the Northeast Region and the Connecticut River Valley Region remained in Level 1 mild drought. Martha’s Vineyard Times (Vineyard Haven, Mass.), Nov 16, 2022
2022-07-01summer0Fewer mosquitoes, cases of mosquito-borne disease in MassachusettsEastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus have not been a big threat to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts this year as drought left few pools of water for mosquitoes laying eggs. Statewide, there have been four cases of West Nile Virus this year, compared to 11 human cases last year. The Recorder (Greenfield, Mass.), Sept. 9, 2022
2022-06-26summer0Mandatory water restrictions for some towns in western MassachusettsSome western Massachusetts cities and towns have instituted mandatory water restrictions, including Easthampton, Northampton, Shelburne, Southwick and Ware. WWLP-22 News (Mass.), June 26, 2022
2022-06-08summer0Water use restriction in Northampton, MassachusettsNorthampton enacted a water use restriction until further notice that non-essential use of public water supply be prohibited between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The public water supply is regulated by the state. Restrictions are imposed when “stream flow in the Mill River drops below a certain quantity of flow (26.3 cubic feet per second) for a three-day period or when the DEP Drought Task Force declares Drought Advisory Level 1 or higher.” The stream flow has fallen below 26.3 cubic feet per second for three consecutive days. Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.), June 8, 2022
2022-06-01summer0More than 100 wildfires burned in MassachusettsSince the beginning of June, 450 wildfires burned 449 acres in Massachusetts, according to the chief fire warden for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. He attested to the landscape being brown in late July and resembling Arizona, at a time of year when things should have been lush green. Although wildfires used to be rare in the summer, more than 100 wildfires burned in August. WGBH (Boston, Mass.), Nov 15, 2022 Ninety-seven wildfires have occurred in Massachusetts since the start of August, according to the Chief Forest Fire warden. WBUR-FM Boston Public Radio (Mass.), Aug. 23, 2022
2022-06-01summer0Shriveled berries, wild grapes after summer drought in northwestern MassachusettsThe summer of drought in Massachusetts left a small crop of stunted, shriveled berries and wild grapes to sustain wildlife over the winter. Birdfeeders may be very popular with birds and a great place for watching them as they will need supplemental food to get through the winter. The Recorder (Greenfield, Mass.), Nov 6, 2022
2022-05-17spring0Voluntary water restrictions for Ipswich, MassachusettsIpswich’s select board set voluntary water restrictions for the community. The reservoir is full, the rainfall deficit is one inch, and the river flow is down significantly at one-third of its mean level for this time of year. In addition, water use is higher. The mean flow level of the Parker River is 31.9%, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Ipswich Local News (Mass.), May 17, 2022
2022-05-11spring0Drought declaration for Southeast, Islands regions of MassachusettsThe Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ drought update on July 13 indicated that drought conditions were expanding, putting the Connecticut River Valley Region, Central Region, Northeast Region and Southeast Region in Level 2 – Significant Drought, while the Western Region and Islands Region were in Level 1 – Mild Drought. Only the Cape Cod Region was free of drought. Last month, just the Central and Connecticut River Valley regions were in a mild drought. Fire danger has risen in the northern part of the state, and foliage in shrubs and grasses was stressed by the lack of rain. The public is urged to conserve water and to follow local water restrictions. Some farmers were irrigating heavily due to the dryness. Boston Herald (Mass.), July 13, 2022 The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs updated the drought status for parts of the state in mid-June, declaring a significant drought for the North Shore, MetroWest, Boston and the South Shore. WCVB-TV ABC 5 Boston (Mass.), June 30, 2022. Massachusetts residents in the Southeast and Islands regions were urged to conserve water since a mild drought was declared on May 11. Rainfall has been irregular in the past several months, leading to below average precipitation. Residents are advised to reduce total water use, limit outdoor watering to one day a week between 5 p.m. to 9 a.m., carry out water audits on larger buildings and collect rainwater for outdoor watering. MassLive (Springfield, Mass.), May 11, 2022
2021-05-10spring0Massachusetts drought statusDrought conditions improved in the Northeast and Southeast regions, leading to a declaration of normal conditions. Level 1-Mild Drought remained in effect for the rest of the state, apart from the Islands Region, which stayed at Level 0-Normal Conditions. Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Boston), May 10, 2021
2021-04-30spring0Mandatory water restrictions for Cape Cod towns in MassachusettsMandatory water restrictions were in effect for Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Chatham and Dennis as rainfall was below normal. Groundwater levels were also very low like that typically seen at the end of the pumping season. No significant recharge of the aquifer is expected during the summer. Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.), May 25, 2021
2021-04-26spring0Mandatory water ban for Falmouth, MassachusettsThe Select Board of Falmouth approved a mandatory water ban on April 26 that will take effect in Falmouth on May 1, allowing residents to water on alternating days. A more stringent water ban is possible if the public does not observe the alternate-days ban. Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.), April 28, 2021
2021-04-21spring0Water restrictions for Mansfield, MassachusettsPhase II Outdoor Water Restrictions were in effect for Mansfield as Level 2-Significant Drought conditions were declared for the Southeast Drought Region. Mansfield, MA Patch (MA), April 23, 2021
2021-04-14spring0Water restrictions in Northampton, MassachusettsWater restrictions began in Northampton with nonessential water use banned from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.), April 14, 2021
2021-04-09spring0Mild, significant drought in MassachusettsMassachusetts residents and businesses were encouraged to curb water use. The southeast part of the state is in significant drought, while the remainder of the state, excluding the Islands, is in mild drought, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared on April 9. People were urged to limit outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or water cans used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m. one day a week. The U.S. Drought Monitor depicted most of the state as abnormally dry. WHDH-TV NBC 7 Boston (Mass.), April 9, 2021
2021-04-06spring0Voluntary water restrictions in Ipswich, MassachusettsA lack of snow and low flow in the Ipswich River led the select board to enact voluntary water restrictions in Ipswich. Reservoirs were full, but the river flow was below the 25th percentile. Ipswich Local News (Mass.), April 6, 2021
2021-03-12spring0Mild drought declaration for Berkshire County, MassachusettsMassachusetts’ Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary declared a mild drought in Berkshire County as precipitation, streamflow and groundwater were below normal. The declaration was made on March 12 following recommendations from a Drought Management Task Force meeting. Water conservation is urged. (Springfield, Mass.), March 12, 2021
2020-11-09fall0Drought status in MassachusettsDrought has ended in Massachusetts, according to the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. All regions of the Bay State were again in normal conditions, consequently, the Drought Management Task Force will no longer meet weekly. Cape Cod (Hyannis, Mass.), Jan. 12, 2021 As drought conditions improved in Massachusetts, the State Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary announced that southeastern Massachusetts went from a Level 3 “Critical Drought” to a Level 2 “Significant Drought.” Cape Cod remained at Level 2, and conditions elsewhere were improved to a Level 1 “Mild Drought,” except for the Nashua River basin, which was at Level 2. Greenwich Time (Conn.), Nov 9, 2020
2020-06-26summer0Drought declaration for MassachusettsThe Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs announced on Aug. 13 a Level 2 drought for all regions of the state. The public was urged to conserve water and to be aware of the fire danger. (Springfield, Mass.), Aug 13, 2020 Low rainfall and warm weather prompted the continuation of Level 2 – Significant Drought in the Western, Connecticut River Valley and Central regions, a Level 1 – Mild Drought in the Northeast region, a downgrade from Level 2; and a Level 1 – Mild Drought in the Cape Cod region up from a Level 0 - Normal condition. Conditions in the Southeast and Islands regions remain at a Level 0 – Normal Conditions. At a Level 2 – Significant Drought, as outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, conditions are becoming significantly dry and warrant detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, emphasis on water conservation, more stringent watering restrictions, and technical outreach and assistance for the affected municipalities. (Boston, Mass.), July 10, 2020 A Level 2 Significant Drought was declared for most of Massachusetts, including the Connecticut River Valley, Western, Central, and Northeast regions, due to abnormal heat and scarce rain since May. NBC Boston (Mass.), June 26, 2020
2020-06-22summer0Tier 2 water restrictions in Norwell, MassachusettsNorwell moved to Tier 2 water restrictions on June 22 as the hot, dry month of June drove up water use. Whereas water consumption is usually one million gallons daily, demand doubled to 2 million gallons, straining the city’s water system. Patriot Ledger (Quincy, Mass.), July 13, 2020
2020-06-22summer0Water restrictions in Andover, North Reading, MassachusettsAndover water users were asked to limit their water usage voluntarily as the Select Board voted to enact Phase 3 of the town’s Drought Management Plan. North Reading, which purchases water from Andover, limited outdoor watering to twice weekly. Andover Patch (Mass.), June 23, 2020
2020-06-22summer0Water restrictions in Burlington, MassachusettsThe Burlington Board of Selectmen voted to enact new restrictions, limiting outdoor watering to twice weekly. The action came after Public Works warned that the town’s water system was at capacity, using 5 million gallons of water daily, compared to 2 million gallons daily in March. More than 100 first offense notices were already sent to water scofflaws. Burlington Patch (Mass.), June 22, 2020
2020-06-18summer0Water conservation needed in several northeast Massachusetts communitiesSeveral northeast Massachusetts communities urged water conservation as dry weather continued. Restrictions on non-essential outdoor watering took effect in Littleton after the Board of Water Commissioners voted on June 24 in response to the state-issued drought declaration. The Westford Water Department issued an outdoor water use restriction on June 18 and specified days on which outdoor watering may be done. The Chelsmford Water District prohibited all outdoor watering, apart from hand watering on June 22. Wicked Local Littleton (Mass.), June 26, 2020
2020-06-10summer0Small strawberries in Southwick, MassachusettsFarms in were affected by below normal rainfall in May and early June. Strawberries were on the small side, despite three waterings. The farmer remarked that he was watering fields at least every five days. WWLP-TV Springfield (Mass.), June 10, 2020
2020-06-10summer0Water restrictions in several Massachusetts communitiesWater restrictions took effect in Northampton as the flow of the Mill River dropped below 26.3 cubic feet per second for a consecutive 3-day period. Northampton, Massachusetts, June 18, 2020 Water restrictions were in effect in Easthampton, with certain outdoor water uses being limited to once weekly after 5 p.m. and before 9 a.m. WWLP-TV Springfield (Mass.), June 14, 2020 Water restrictions were in effect in Westfield, Southwick and Orange, due to dry weather. WWLP-TV Springfield (Mass.), June 10, 2020
2020-06-02summer0Mandatory water restrictions in Ipswich, MassachusettsOutdoor water use was prohibited in Ipswich as drought continued with a big precipitation deficit since the start of the year. Wicked Local Ipswich (Beverly, Mass.), Sept 29, 2020 Mandatory water restrictions were announced in Ipswich on June 2 as the flow of the Ipswich River slowed to about 40 percent of normal. Rainfall was nearly 3.5 inches below average. Ipswich Local News (Mass.), June 2, 2020
2019-10-15fall0Drought concerns for parts of MassachusettsAmple rainfall allowed all parts of Massachusetts to return to normal conditions. The Drought Management Task Force will no longer meet regularly. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Energy and Environmental Affairs (Boston, Mass.), Nov. 20, 2019 A Level 1 – Mild Drought was declared for the Connecticut River Valley Region, warranting detailed monitoring of drought conditions. Elevated drying conditions were observed in areas such as the Deerfield, Housatonic, Boston Harbor and Nashua River Basins. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (Boston, Mass.), Oct. 15, 2019
2018-07-16summer0Tighter water restrictions near Attleboro, MassachusettsUnusually dry weather led several communities near Attleboro to tighten outdoor water restrictions. Attleboro Sun Chronicle (Mass.), July 16, 2018
2018-06-25summer0Mandatory water restrictions in Salisbury, MassachusettsThe Salisbury Department of Public Works instituted mandatory restrictions on water use concerning car washing, pool filling and washing building exteriors. Newburyport Daily News (Mass.), Aug. 9, 2018
2017-05-01spring0Water restrictions in Milford, Massachusetts ease to Stage IIIResidents of Milford returned to a modified Stage III water restriction on May 1 after a rainy April nearly removed all drought from Massachusetts. The town was previously in a Stage IV restriction, and people had not been allowed to water outdoors since August 2016. Echo Lake refilled to 87.2 percent of capacity and was 8 inches above the spillway. Milford Daily News (Mass.), April 27, 2017
2017-05-01spring0Water restrictions for Northampton, MassachusettsThe Massachusetts Drought Task Force announced a drought advisory level for the Connecticut River Valley region. Northampton officials responded by issuing a water use restriction.
2017-04-17spring0Drought advisory for most of MassachusettsSpring precipitation brought an end to drought advisories in Massachusetts, decided state officials on May 11. The entire state was considered to be in normal conditions. Attleboro Sun Chronicle (Mass.), May 11, 2017 Most of Massachusetts, apart from Berkshire County, was in a drought advisory, which puts some restrictions on lawn watering and irrigation. New England Public Radio (Mass.), April 17, 2017
2016-10-21fall0Some Massachusetts trees shedding leaves early, less vibrantSome Massachusetts trees shed their leaves early after a summer of heat and drought, said Rick Harper, an assistant professor with UMass Amherst's Department of Environmental Conservation. Fall color also seemed to be delayed in some areas. Overall, leaves were not more vibrant due to the drought. Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise (Mass.), Oct. 21, 2016
2016-10-19fall0Eversource reminded its Massachusetts customers to check health of treesSome regional trees have become brittle and weak from the lack of rainfall, warned Eversource, an electric services company. The trees might even fall over during the winter and take down power lines. People were cautioned that trees with cracks in the trunks, bare branches, dropping bark or dead roots could be dying and need attention. WWLP-TV Springfield (Mass.), Oct. 19, 2016
2016-09-08fall0Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force metEnergy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton approved the Drought Task Force’s recommendation. The rest of Massachusetts remained unchanged from the drought declaration made in August. Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise (Mass.), Sept. 12, 2016 The state’s Drought Management Task Force recommended moving the southeastern part of the state from “watch” to “warning,” and shift Cape Cod and the islands from “advisory” to “watch.” Worcester Business Journal (Mass.), Sept. 9, 2016
2016-09-07fall0Drought emergency loan fund for Massachusetts farmersMassachusetts farmers may apply for micro-loans through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, an economic development agency, as $1 million becomes available from the state. The drought emergency loan fund will offer "affordable working capital to small businesses," giving them an opportunity to recoup some of their losses. The program will continue through November 2016. Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican (Mass.), Sept. 7, 2016
2016-09-07fall0Drought hurt survival rate of young fish in MassachusettsLow flows in Massachusetts’ brooks have hurt the survival rate of fish born this summer. Fish restocking will happen when waters have cooled enough to support the fish. Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise (Mass.), Sept. 7, 2016
2016-09-05fall0Drought-afflicted eastern Massachusetts trees unable to grow new leavesSome eastern Massachusetts trees were unable to grow new leaves after gypsy moth caterpillars chewed leaves on 350,000 acres of trees. Albany Times-Union (N.Y.), Sept. 5, 2016
2016-08-24summer0Massachusetts' cranberry harvest squeezed by droughtA hot, parched summer may leave some Massachusetts cranberry growers without enough water to flood bogs and collect the berries. Other factors working against cranberry growers were rising production costs, decreased crop values, changing consumer habits and rising competition from other cranberry growing regions. Attleboro Sun Chronicle (Mass.), Sept. 27, 2016 Massachusetts cranberry growers were told by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistical Services to expect a 5 percent drop, compared to production in 2015. Drought has been growers’ greatest concern, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, noting that having enough water is “critical to ample fruit sizing.” Many growers also flood cranberry bogs for harvest, but with extreme drought in 16.8 percent of the state, water could be a limiting factor come harvest time. Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican (Mass.), Aug. 25, 2016
2016-07-24summer0Massachusetts fire officials discourage outdoor burningMassachusetts fire officials warned residents to avoid outdoor burning due to the drought. New London Day (Conn.), July 24, 2016
2016-07-14summer0More than 120 towns in Massachusetts with mandatory water restrictionsMore than 120 towns in Massachusetts have enacted mandatory water restrictions as drought reduced water supplies. Concord, Shrewsbury and Scituate were some of the cities affected. Boston’s water and sewer commission urged residents to conserve water and offered low-flow shower heads and dye tabs to help detect toilet leaks. Needham residents were permitted to water outdoors twice per week. The town’s public works department mailed 800 warning letters to citizens flouting the restrictions instituted in May and fined several people $200. Boston Globe and (Mass.), July 14, 2016
2016-07-12summer0Drought watch, advisory for most of MassachusettsMassachusetts’ Drought Management Task Force issued a drought watch for much of the central and northeastern part of the state and a drought advisory for the Connecticut River Valley and Southeastern Massachusetts. Those in the watch were to conserve water and to be cautious with outdoor burning and smoking materials. The Drought Management Task Force met to issue the declarations and will continue meeting monthly while certain criteria, such as low precipitation levels, stream flow, and groundwater and reservoir levels, exist. Boston Globe and (Mass.), July 12, 2016
2016-05-30spring0Summer water restrictions extended as drought persists in MassachusettsOngoing drought meant that Medway’s summer water ban that was to end on Sept. 30 was extended indefinitely because the region continued to be in a drought warning. The water restrictions began in May, and enforcement intensified in July when the area was put in a drought advisory status by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Neighboring towns of Franklin, Milford and Bellingham have also kept their water restrictions in effect. Hopedale, too, has extended their water restrictions beyond September. Milford Daily News (Mass.), Oct. 3, 2016
2016-04-12spring0Numerous brush fires in western MassachusettsWestern Massachusetts has seen dozens of brush fires during the past two weeks, due to a lack of rain. Gardeners and nursery workers have had to water plants more than usual to keep them healthy. WWLP-TV Springfield (Ma.), April 25, 2016
2016-01-01winter0Massachusetts lost nearly $14 million in crop damageDrought caused a crop loss of nearly $14 million in Massachusetts, through Aug. 19, stated Jon Niedzielski, Massachusetts executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency. WWLP-TV Springfield (Mass.), Sept. 6, 2016
2015-09-21fall0Water restrictions in Attleboro, MassachusettsThe ban on sprinkler use was lifted after a wet spring. Attleboro Sun Chronicle (Mass.), Aug. 16, 2016 Water restrictions remained in effect in Attleboro. Boston Globe and (Mass.), Dec. 18, 2015 The mayor of Attleboro banned the use of sprinklers as the dry spell continued. The area has seen little rain for more than a month and was 7 inches behind in rainfall. Boston Sun Times (Mass.), Sept. 21, 2015
2014-09-05fall0Ban on outdoor watering in Ipswich, MassachusettsA ban on outdoor watering and other outdoor water uses took effect in Ipswich as the rainfall deficit continued to build. Ipswich Chronicle (Mass.), Sept. 5, 2014
2014-08-29summer0Level 5 drought conditions in Danvers, MassachusettsDanvers entered level 5 drought conditions, due to low flow in the Ipswich River and the rapid depletion of the city’s reservoir. Under level 5 drought conditions, outdoor watering may be done with handheld hoses and water cans between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Sprinkler systems may not be used. Water restrictions were being enforced by the police and public works crews. Danvers was in level 5 drought condition earlier in the summer when the lack of rain allowed the reservoir to become depleted. Gloucester Daily Times (Mass.), Aug. 29, 2014
2013-05-01spring0Many farmers in western Massachusetts have delayed transplanting or needed to irrigateA vegetable farmer near Montague began irrigating about April 30, but lost some of his kale to the dry conditions when he could not get the irrigation equipment in place soon enough. He has two to three workers who move irrigation pipes, pumps and fuel every few hours to keep the broccoli, cabbage, turnips and radishes adequately watered. Nourse Farms began irrigating its nursery fields in Whately, Hatfield, Montague and Deerfield to keep transplants alive. A farmer near Gill said the dry weather was preventing him from putting down plastic mulch around his melons. He wanted to wait until some rain fell to add some soil moisture. Many farmers in the Pioneer Valley area have delayed transplanting or needed to irrigate, due to the dry conditions, according to an agronomist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Greenfield Recorder (Mass.), May 7, 2013
2012-07-18summer0Water restrictions in several Massachusetts communities, due to low water levelsSeveral Massachusetts communities enacted outdoor water restrictions, due to low water levels. In Leominster, outdoor water use was restricted to just three days per week, starting July 18. Outdoor water restrictions were also in effect in Fitchburg, Lunenburg and Townsend and were set to expire on or before Sept. 30. Shirley’s water restrictions were scheduled to end Oct. 1. Restrictions were ongoing in Ashburnham and Leominster.
2010-10-15fall0Connecticut River in Massachusetts in a drought advisoryThe Connecticut River is in a drought advisory because water levels are low in area reservoirs. The Drought Management Task Force added the river to portions of central and northeastern Massachusetts already in a drought advisory. Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican (MA), Oct. 18 and Milford Daily News (MA), Nov. 19
2010-09-02fall0Water restrictions in BurlingtonOutdoor water restrictions took effect in Burlington although its water supplies are not lacking. The superintendent of the Department of Public Works stated that the town adopted the restrictions because the state announced a drought advisory level for the northeastern section of the state. Boston Globe and, (MA), Sept. 12
2010-08-31summer0Corn, melon yield down in LittletonA farmer in Littleton assessed the drought damage to her crops. The feed corn only grew to be about half as tall as it usually does and produced ears that were roughly one-third of the usual size. The lack of rainfall resulted in fewer and smaller melons. Littleton Independent (MA), Aug. 31
2010-08-31summer0Drought hindering inland fly fishing in western MassachusettsInland fly fishing on the Millers, Westfield, Ware, Burnshirt and Nissitissit rivers is poor since the water levels are so low from the dearth of precipitation. Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA), Aug. 31
2010-08-24summer0Water restrictions for AshburnhamAshburnham has water restrictions in effect and expects them to remain for a minimum of two weeks, according to the town manager. Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise (MA), Aug. 24
2010-08-21summer0Low Concord River causing navigational problems in ConcordThe Concord River in Concord is running so low that a boat rental business can no longer rent motorboats because there are shallow areas which would damage the propellers. A pontoon boat cruise operator takes a maximum of 16 passengers, rather than 20 people, to lessen the draft and cannot navigate down the river to the Old North Bridge, due to shallow areas. Milford Daily News (MA), Aug. 21
2010-08-21summer0Water level affecting swim area at Cochituate State ParkThe swim area at Cochituate State Park is smaller as the water level declines, but an area of deep water just outside the swim area prevents park officials from moving the buoys to expand the swim area. Milford Daily News (MA), Aug. 21
2010-08-19summer0Stage IV Total Mandatory Water Conservation Alert in MilfordThe Milford Water Company announced a Stage IV Total Mandatory Water Conservation Alert, which prohibited all outdoor watering beginning on August 19 when the water level at the Echo Lake reservoir was five feet below the spillway. Milford has an agreement to purchase water from the neighboring towns of Bellingham and Holliston, but these towns also have water restrictions in effect and are trying to conserve their supply. Milford received just two inches of rain in July and 0.95 inches between August 1 and August 19. Town Crier (MA), Aug. 27
2010-08-18summer0Drought watch for North AndoverA drought watch was declared for North Andover since heat and drought lowered the level of Lake Cochichewick. Residents are asked to reduce water use in hopes of avoiding mandatory water restrictions. North Andover Citizen (MA), Sept. 1
2010-08-18summer0Trees and bushes turning color in BeverlyDry conditions spurred trees and bushes in Beverly to turn colors as though it were fall. Beverly Citizen (MA), Aug. 18
2010-08-17summer0Water restrictions for Tri-Town Water customersThe Tri-Town Water Board enacted phase 4 water restrictions which prohibit any outdoor watering since the reservoirs upon which the communities of Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph depend had fallen to roughly 55 percent. The trigger for phase 4 restrictions is 60 percent reservoir capacity. A few days of heavy rainfall moved water restrictions back to phase 3 on August 31, which permits people to water during certain hours with a hand-held hose. Holbrook Sun (MA), Aug. 30
2010-08-13summer0Drought advisory in northeast and central portions of MassachusettsThe northeastern and central portions of Massachusetts are in a drought advisory since the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force recommended that the elevated fire risk and water resources for firefighting be closely watched. There have been 86 municipalities across the state that request a voluntary reduction in outdoor water use. Boston Globe and, Aug. 13, Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican (MA), Oct. 18 and Milford Daily News (MA), Nov. 19
2010-08-06summer0Salem landscaping business laid off workersThe owner of a Salem landscaping business stated that he was forced to let some of his employees go because the drought has stopped grass growth and little mowing is needed. Lawrence Eagle Tribune (MA), Aug. 6
2010-08-06summer0Greater incidence of brush fires near MethuenThe fire captain in Methuen stated that the dry conditions have resulted in more brush fires than usual. Lawrence Eagle Tribune (MA), Aug. 6
2010-08-06summer0North Andover farmer worried that he may have to irrigate with municipal waterA North Andover farmer worries that his water supply may not hold up, forcing him to use expensive municipal water on his crops. Normally his ponds supply adequate water for irrigation so that he only needs municipal water for his crops just a few times over a ten year period. A helpful beaver family dammed a stream on his property, giving him a little extra water. Lawrence Eagle Tribune (MA), Aug. 6
2010-08-04summer0Voluntary water restrictions in NewburyportThe Newburyport Water Division enacted voluntary water restrictions because heat and lack of rainfall have lowered the city’s reservoir to less than 90 percent full. Newburyport Daily News (MA), Aug. 5
2010-08-03summer0Phase 3 water restrictions in Braintree, Holbrook and RandolphThe Tri-Town Board of Water Commissioners declared the beginning of phase 3 water restrictions for Braintree, Holbrook, and Randolph as the reservoirs in those three communities were roughly 68 percent full on August 3. Under phase three restrictions, outdoor watering is allowed only between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Braintree Forum (MA), Aug. 3
2010-07-27summer0Gloucester public woods, Norton Memorial Forest closed due to fire riskThree thousand acres of public woods in Gloucester and the Norton Memorial Forest were closed due to dry conditions and elevated fire danger after the mayor signed an emergency declaration. The fire chief stated that the closure would remain effective until adequate rain had fallen to alleviate the fire danger. Boston Globe and, July 27
2010-07-21summer0Mandatory water restrictions in RockportThe Rockport Public Works Board of Commissioners decided that a mandatory water ban prohibiting outdoor water use was needed to conserve the town’s water resources because the Cape Pond Reservoir and Carlson’s quarry were being depleted much more quickly than usual during the past 14 days. Rockport water customers used 750,000 gallons on average daily the week of July 12, whereas the average last summer during the same period was about 600,000 gallons. Gloucester Daily Times (MA), July 21 and Gloucester Daily Times (MA), Sept. 10, 2010. The mandatory water restrictions remain in effect. Gloucester Daily Times (MA), Jan. 5, 2011. The mandatory water restrictions ended on January 10, 2011. Gloucester Daily Times (MA), Jan. 17, 2011.
2010-07-21summer0Voluntary water restrictions in ManchesterThe Manchester Department of Public Works enacted voluntary water restrictions since the city’s water use exceeded 1 million gallons for a few weeks, whereas the city usually has 12 days or so per year when water use is that high. The maximum water use in previous years was 1.3 million, but this year the highest water use in a day was 1.75 million gallons. Gloucester Daily Times (MA), July 21
2010-06-01summer0Water restrictions in Northampton while Mill River is lowOutdoor water use in Northampton is restricted because the Mill River flow has decreased to less than 26.3 cubic feet per second for three days in a row, which triggered the water restrictions. Sprinklers may no longer be used to water lawns and gardens. It is prohibited to wash vehicles or pavement. The restrictions will end when the rate rises above 26.3 cfs for at least seven days in a row., June 10. As of September 14 at 9:15 a.m., the flow in the Mill River had fallen to 7.3 cubic feet per second, according to the USGS gage in Northampton.UPDATE: The Department of Public Works has extended the water restrictions through the end of November. Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican (MA), Oct. 21
2007-09-02fall0Fire impact from Media submitted on 9/6/2007There have been 35 to 59 new fires statewide reported each day since September 2, according to a forest fire warden with the Department of Conservation and Reservation. Massachusetts has recently experienced its second driest August since records have been kept. Impact Source: Media More Information:
2006-03-28spring0Fire impact from Government submitted on 4/13/2006The following was submitted by NWS personnel: During March 28th to April 2nd 2006, the following number of brush fires were reported in Massachusetts: 1/4 Acre or less: 296 1/2 to 9 1/2 Acres: 118 10 to 50 Acres: 5 This was a very large number of fires for MA for this time of year. Information relayed to NWS by state officials Impact Source: Government

To view simple examples of impacts reported in the past in each state at different levels of drought, check out our tables of historically observed impacts.