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Friday, July 13, 2018

State Officials Urge Continued Water Conservation

State Officials Urge Continued Water Conservation
Commonwealth to Increase Monitoring of Water Resources

BOSTON – Following two months of dry weather and above normal temperatures, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) today urged residents across the Commonwealth to conserve water.  The Drought Management Task Force, composed of state, federal and local officials, continue to assess hydrological conditions across the state and determined that while conditions do not meet the level of a drought at this time, closer monitoring of water resources by government officials and water conservation by the public are necessary.

“As dry conditions continue across the state, the Baker-Polito Administration is working with the Drought Management Task Force, government officials, and stakeholders to monitor hydrological conditions and act proactively to minimize any harmful effects,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We strongly encourage the public to follow any local water restrictions, integrate water-saving techniques into their daily routine, minimize outdoor watering and postpone planting anything new until conditions recover.”

“With recent below normal precipitation, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is asking the public to actively conserve water by reducing indoor and outdoor water usage,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Director Kurt Schwartz. “Additionally, because of the increased threat of brush and wildland fires due to the dry conditions, the public is urged to exercise caution when using matches, charcoal grills, and other open flames during outdoor activities.”

Residents can incorporate water-saving tips like these into their daily routines:
·         Limit lawn watering, and choose native plants or turf that need less water;
·         Sweep driveways, patios and other outdoor areas with a broom rather than hosing them off;
·         Take shorter showers and use water-saving showerheads;
·         Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving;
·         Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes; and
·         Fix leaks in faucets toilets, pipes, and appliances.

The Drought Management Task Force, co-chaired by EEA and MEMA, noted at their meeting yesterday that while many of the indices are still at normal and conditions have been relatively dry over the last two months, they have worsened over the last month. Since May, the state has seen low flows at several sites in the Western Region, the Connecticut Valley and the Central Region, groundwater levels decreasing in most regions, and Fire Danger at either an Advisory or a Watch in all six regions.

The Task Force has decided to meet two times over the next month to assess conditions across the state, coordinate dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare any responses that may be needed in the future.

Several public water suppliers around the state have issued conservation measures such as outdoor watering restrictions in response to the drying conditions. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) supply system, however, is well above normal. 

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