Many regions in Massachusetts are facing drought or near-drought conditions. According to federal drought authorities, about 62 percent of the state is considered to be under “severe drought” and some areas northwest of Boston are in “extreme drought.”
Water restrictions are in place in just about every community in the state which is not supplied by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. In some communities, the situation is approaching dire straits, with mandatory restrictions on water usage now in place.
But we don’t need a weatherman to tell us that our lawns are brown as a result of the unrelenting heat, sunshine, and a lack of rain we have faced this summer.
Fortunately for those of us who are supplied by the MWRA, there is no problem as of right now. With its well-protected watersheds and large Quabbin and Wachusett storage reservoirs, the MWRA’s water system remains in normal operating range for this time of year.
One reason the MWRA’s reservoirs are so full is that water use efficiency in our region has dramatically decreased total water use from over 340 million gallons per day in 1980 to around 200 million gallons per day now.
That truly is an amazing statistic when you think about it. It certainly can be said without fear of successful contradiction that the MWRA has been a huge success story since it first was created in 1985 through the efforts of Gov. Michael Dukakis and the legislature.
Still, while no mandatory use restrictions are in place for MWRA fully-supplied communities, and none are anticipated, it is always a good idea to use water wisely. The MWRA’s conservation and water use efficiency pages have many good ideas for saving water.
Further, while MWRA users presently are not experiencing the effects of water shortages, the drought that is affecting the other areas of the state that are not in the MWRA system will have a serious economic effect on all of us if the drought conditions persist.
So let’s hope we get some rain — and soon. In view of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt winning his third 100 meter dash gold medal, we’d like to quote a song performed by Jamaican reggae great Peter Tosh to emphasize how important it is for all of us to conserve water during this time:
You never miss your water Whatcha gonna do
Till your well runs dry When your well runs dry