Post Content

29088773175_79f4f0b2ef_k

In response to the current widespread drought across the Commonwealth, Governor Charlie Baker outlined continued actions to be taken by state agencies to assist Massachusetts’ residents, farmers, and municipalities as the region continues to face the effects associated with prolonged drought conditions. Joined by state and federal officials at Smolak Farms in North Andover, Governor Baker’s announcement follows the recent declaration of a Drought Warning for Central and Northeast Massachusetts, a Drought Watch for Southeast Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley, and a Drought Advisory for Western Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands.

“The Commonwealth has been experiencing abnormally dry conditions for the better part of the last 5 to 6 months due to low precipitation and groundwater levels,” said Governor Baker at the Press conference. “Through the Executive Offices of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) and the Drought Management Task Force, our administration has been monitoring these conditions closely for some time to communicate updates to the public.”

It’s important that everyone check with your city and town to be sure you are aware of any locally-imposed water restrictions, as these will vary for different areas. The public should also:

  • Eliminate or limit watering their lawns
  • Eliminate car washes or use a bucket and sponge to conserve usage
  • Cover swimming pools to prevent evaporation and the need to fill it further
  • Sweep outdoor patios and driveways rather than using a hose to clean those areas
  • Reduce shower times to five minutes or less
  • Turn faucets off when brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Fix water leaks in household items
  • Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes
  • Be aware of extremely dry conditions around you and take extra precautions in the use of grills and open flames

Recognizing the adverse effect drought conditions have on the Commonwealth’s agricultural industry and other crucial economic sectors, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is refocusing a larger percentage of state small business technical assistance grants to Community Development Corporations in effected counties, and working with state and industry officials to develop a Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund that will provide working capital to family farms and small businesses affected by the drought, and bridge the gap to federal assistance for impacted agricultural businesses.

“Our new Massachusetts Drought Emergency Loan Fund will provide affordable working capital loans to small businesses, including family farms, grappling with a downturn in business caused by this prolonged drought,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Additionally, we are activating all of our business development channels, to remind consumers that Massachusetts farmers markets and farm stands still have top-quality produce for sale, and they have our full support.”

Governor Baker also mentioned the need for residents to “buy local and support your farmers” as the high temperatures have also impacted turnout at local farmers markets and farm stands.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) continue to communicate water saving tips and monitor drought parameters such as precipitation, reservoir levels, forest fire threats and forecasts. In addition, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is in the process of identifying potential emergency connections to non-member towns in the event of a water system emergency.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has been coordinating communication with municipal officials as well as the general public. They are also working with the National Guard to assess the capability for transporting water in tankers or ‘Water Buffalo’ should it be needed. The Department of Fire Services and the Statewide Fire Mobilization Committee are in communication with local fire departments and water suppliers in the event that fire suppression becomes necessary.

For further information on water conservation and what you can do, visit the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s drought management page and the MassDEP Water Conservation page.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy posted on Jul 25

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has injected $2.8 billion into highway infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes. Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited communities across the Commonwealth highlighting the   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Where broadband internet changes everything posted on Jul 5

Where broadband internet changes everything

In May 2017, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Berkshire County leaders to tour downtown small businesses that are benefiting from upgrades made by Charter Communications and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program. The program and investments in broadband   …Continue Reading Where broadband internet changes everything

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking posted on Jun 29

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking

Continuing to prioritize a high level of access to the Commonwealth’s natural resources, and recognizing the economic, recreational, environmental, transit and public health benefits of a state trail network, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced additional funding commitments to further develop   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking