SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to the Massachusetts drought status, much of the state is classified as being in “critical” drought condition. The concern here is how the drought is impacting the drinking water supply for communities in our area.
It’s been a dry summer with days in a row without substantial rain. Despite this, many local communities say that drinking water supplies have not been seriously impacted. Springfield Water and Sewer supplies 10 communities with 250,000 people relying on the drinking water every day.
Jaimye Bartak the Communications Manager for Springfield Water and Sewer said, “We’re blessed with a really ample water supply and we just have a really good watershed. Every water system, drinking water supply is unique, and they all respond to precipitation patterns a little differently. We’re fortunate to just have a real ample supply.”
Springfield monitors its reservoir levels daily. Despite the supply, Bartak emphasizes that it is still important for people not to be wasteful with water and to use water wisely as it a precious resource.
The Superintendent of the water source supply for Holyoke, Matt Smith, brought 22News to McLean Reservoir, the city’s secondary water source, “This year’s drought has not impacted the city of Holyoke’s drinking water supply. We have an abundant surface water supply and currently we are at about 92 percent of our reservoir, which is approximately 4.4 billion gallons of water.”
Both Holyoke and Springfield do have plans in place if the levels get critical, but Smith adds it would take months and months to get to that place
It’s the communities that rely more on ground water that are more affected by the drought. 22News did reach out to other communities that rely on a combination of ground water and surface water, like reservoirs, but did not hear back. We also heard from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and they stated that water levels at the Quabbin where stable as well.