Western Massachusetts experiencing normal drought conditions

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Drought conditions improve in some Commonwealth regions, worsen in others

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It has been hot lately, but we’ve also had some heavy showers move through our area this week. 

When it’s gets as hot as it was this week, things get dry quick. 

After a dry start to spring that led to drought conditions across parts of western Massachusetts, we picked up some beneficial rain in April and May.  

According to the latest U.S Drought Monitor, western Massachusetts is not experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, right now.  

But the recent hot and sunny weather has caused things to get dry. 

“Even though we’ve had some decent heavier storms or flash storms in the last week or two judging by my plants and things at home we need rain,” said Bob Whiteley of East Longmeadow. 

Over the last few days, some cities and towns have picked up 2 to 3 inches of rain from heavy showers and storms that moved through but not everybody got them, and a lot of that rain ends up running off and doesn’t get a chance to soak into the ground. 

While it looks dry through Friday, it looks like we have the chance for more showers as we head through the weekend and into next week. 

To reduce water consumption, residents and businesses should consider:

  • Limiting outdoor watering to no more than one day a week (before 9:00 am and after 5:00 pm)
  • Planting non-lawn/non-grass landscapes;
  • Increasing plantings of drought-tolerant species and to shift to non-lawn/non-grass landscapes; and,
  • Installing rain collection systems to help with watering of outdoor plants and vegetable gardens.

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Recommendations by state for regions in a Level 1-Mild Drought include:

Residents and Businesses:

  • Limit outdoor watering to 1 day a week (only from 5:00PM – 9:00AM), or less frequently if required by your water supplier;
  • Toilets, faucets and showers are more than 60% of indoor use.  Make sure yours are WaterSense efficient; and,
  • Switch to more drought-tolerant plants.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication;
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses;
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply; and,
  • Develop a local drought management plan.

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