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Drought Conditions Return to Normal Across Commonwealth
08:05AM / Saturday, February 18, 2023
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BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper declared the end of the drought in the Commonwealth, following five months of normal to above-normal precipitation and record-breaking warmth in January. 
All seven regions are at Level 0-Normal Conditions, including the Islands Region, which was previously declared at a Level 2- Significant Drought, and the Northeast and Cape Cod Regions, which were at a Level-1 Mild Drought last month. The declarations are the result of a recommendation issued from a recent meeting of the Drought Management Task Force, comprised of state and federal officials and other entities. 
"After nine months of Massachusetts regions experiencing drought conditions, I am pleased to declare that every region has returned to normal," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. "We thank those who implemented conservation practices at such a critical time and urge residents to remain conscientious of their water use as we continue to experience more extreme and frequent
 weather events due to the climate crisis."  
The month of January brought above-normal rainfall across all regions of the Commonwealth, helping with the recovery of groundwater, streamflow, lakes, and impoundments. Normal Conditions, as outlined
in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, recommends that overall water efficiency practices and emergency planning efforts continue at the local level and that state and local agencies work to review, assess, and improve responses and actions implemented during the drought. With the declaration of Normal Conditions, the Drought Management Task Force will not meet again until a region in the state is experiencing drought conditions. However, state agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess conditions across the Commonwealth.  
To help protect Massachusetts' water resources, larger buildings and businesses are asked to conduct water audits to identify areas of leaks and potential water conservation, and residents are asked to reduce indoor water use and address leaks as soon as possible.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will continue to provide technical assistance to municipalities in managing systems, including on the use of emergency connections
and water supplies. 
"We appreciate the efforts of both the consumers of water who reduced their demands and our public water systems that are on the frontlines of delivering clean water in sufficient quantities to meet our needs," said MassDEP Acting Commissioner Gary Moran. "We urge consumers to continue their efforts to reduce water demand and help protect our environment whether there is a declared drought or not."
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