Berkshire County Experiencing Mild Drought Conditions
BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides declared that Berkshire County is in a level 1 mild drought.
"In most regions across the Commonwealth, dry conditions have set in again, and it is important that we all take water conservation steps now to lessen its potential impacts on our environment and water supplies, and to take extra precautions when using an open flame or cooking on a grill to prevent wildfires," said EEA Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. "The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to work closely with municipalities, local water suppliers and our federal partners to monitor and respond to the ongoing drought conditions."
Level 1-Mild Drought warrants detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities. The declarations were the result of a recommendation issued by the state's Drought Management Task Force, which is composed of state and federal officials, and other entities. The taskforce will continue to meet until water levels return to normal in the affected regions.
For Region in Level 1 - Mild Drought
Residents and Businesses:
Toilets, faucets and showers are more than 60 percent of indoor use. Make sure yours are WaterSense efficient.
Limit outdoor watering to 1 day a week (only from 5:00PM – 9:00AM), or less frequently if required by your water supplier
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.
These drying conditions are likely to continue due to precipitation totals ranging from 1.5 inches to 3.0 inches below normal, with the greatest departure below normal along the North and South shores, lack of any snow cover, and the forecast indicating higher than normal temperatures and lower than normal precipitation.
As the Commonwealth enters into the growing season and more time is spent outdoors, state officials urge residents and businesses to reduce water use, select only native and drought resistant plants for new plantings, and limit outdoor watering to no more than one day a week for Level 1 regions, and handheld watering for Level 2 regions. Other water conservation tips include:
Address leaks as soon as possible;
Conduct water audits on larger buildings and businesses to identify leaks and potential water conservation opportunities;
Minimize the size of where lawns are watered; and,
Harvest rainwater for outdoor watering.
Water conservation measures will aid in the reduction of water use and safeguard water for essential needs, such as drinking water, fire protection services, habitat recovery and environmental needs, and sustained water supplies.
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