GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– As part of the state’s issuing a “Level 3 Critical Drought” declaration for the Connecticut River Valley, the City of Greenfield is banning all nonessential outdoor watering and water use, effective immediately.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued the updated drought status for the region on Tuesday.

“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,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “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.”

With the Leyden Glen Reservoir offline for dredging through the summer, the City has been drawing its water exclusively from the Green River and the Millbrook Wellfield. The Green River is at its lowest streamflow in many years. The wellfield is holding up well, but is showing signs of stress.

“Unfortunately, one rain event is not going to get us out of this situation and we must tighten our mandatory water-use restrictions,” said Department of Public Works Director Marlo Warner. “We’ve been politely reminding people about restrictions to this point, but given the circumstances, warnings and fines are the next step.”

Residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to not install new sod, seeding and landscaping; washing of hard surfaces, such as patios, driveways and siding; and continue to follow the bans on non-commercial car washing and filling or “topping off” of swimming pools.