SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Four major regions in Massachusetts are now in a Level 3-Critical Drought. That includes the Northeast, Southeast, Central, and Connecticut River Valley regions of the state.
The Cape Cod Region was elevated to a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Islands and Western Regions are at a Level 1-Mild Drought.
“With the majority of the state now experiencing a Level-3-Critical Drought, it is incredibly important that we all practice water conservation and adhere to local requirements and recommendations in order avoid over stressing our water resources,” Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card said. “Efforts to minimize water usage now will help our water systems to rebound more quickly, and ensure that essential public health, safety and environmental needs continue to be met.”
Many Massachusetts residents say their lawns are turning brown, and their municipalities are water restrictions and bans in place.
"The grass definitely looks like it's suffering," Katie from Arlington said. "We're not watering the lawn right now, we're just doing what we need to do."
The worsening drought isn't just about the appearance of our lawns. The state says low water levels in places like reservoirs, ponds, and streams has led to a "lack of flow, increased turbidity, high water temperature, and increase in growth of plants and algae in the water."
July 2022 also saw very minimal rainfall. In eastern Massachusetts, rainfall totals ranked within the top 15 driest Julys on record.
“The continued dry, hot weather has increased drought-related hazards for much of Massachusetts including the risk for fires,” Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Acting Director Dawn Brantley said. “We need the public to be especially careful during this time by adhering to local water use restrictions, and exercising caution around any outdoor activities that increase the risk of brush and forest fires such as barbecues, campfires, and safe disposal of smoking materials."
WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasNews) reports