Island is experiencing ‘mild drought’

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This map tells the story of mild drought conditions.

The Island is in the midst of a “mild drought,” according to a press release issued by the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Martha’s Vineyard joins Nantucket and other parts of southeastern Massachusetts, excluding Cape Cod, as being at Level 1 — mild drought conditions, according to the release. Cape Cod is experiencing normal conditions, according to the release.

“With forecasts showing below-normal rainfalls with elevated temperatures, it’s important that we all administer water conservation practices early in the year to minimize stress on our water supply systems and natural habitats,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card said in the release. “As state officials continue to monitor and analyze ongoing conditions, we ask everyone, particularly those in the Southeast and Islands regions, to be mindful of water usage as we advance further into the growing and outdoor recreational seasons.” 

“Each of us can play a role in mitigating drought impacts by reducing water usage and by being cautious of the increased risk of brush and wildland fires due to the dry conditions,” the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) acting director, Dawn Brantley, said in the release. “MEMA reminds the public to exercise caution with charcoal grills, matches, and other open flames during outdoor activities, and to call 911 immediately if there is a fire, to prevent the fire from spreading.”

According to the release, Massachusetts has experienced irregular rainfall events, which has contributed to less-than-average spring precipitation.

Here are the recommendations for residents and businesses in the Level 1 mild drought region:
Minimize overall water use;

  • Limit outdoor watering to one day a week, from 5 pm to 9 am, or less frequently if required by your water supplier;
  • Plant only local and drought-resistant species;
  • Fix indoor leaks, such as from toilets, faucets, and showers, which result in more than 60 percent of indoor use;
  • For larger buildings and businesses, conduct water audits to identify areas of leaks and potential water conservation opportunities;
  • Minimize lawn sizes; and
  • Harvest rainwater for outdoor watering.

 

Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication;
  • Provide timely drought and water conservation information to local residents and businesses;
  • Check emergency interconnections for water supply; and
  • Develop a local drought management plan (go to mass.gov/guides/drought-planning-guidance for more information).

  

The Drought Management Task Force will meet again on Wednesday, June 8, at 1 pm to reassess drought conditions across the state.

 

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