Despite Rain, Drought Condition Expand, Some Wells Quit


Earlier this week, the state's top environmental official appealed to everyone in Massachusetts to practice water conservation as two more regions joined the majority of the state classified as experiencing critical drought. Franklin is already practicing strict water restrictions.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card declared the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast regions will join the Northeast and Central regions in the Level 3-Critical Drought category. Cape Cod is being elevated to a Level 2-Significant Drought; the Islands and Western regions will stay at Level 1-Mild Drought.

"With the majority of the state now experiencing a Level-3-Critical Drought, it is incredibly important that we all practice water conservation and adhere to local requirements and recommendations in order avoid over stressing our water resources," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "Efforts to minimize water usage now will help our water systems to rebound more quickly, and ensure that essential public health, safety and environmental needs continue to be met."

Hot, dry conditions have dropped reservoir levels and left streambeds lacking flow, while also raising fire risks. Here in Franklin, some homeowners dependent on private wells have found they now produce little or no water. One owner of a million-dollar home off of Prospect Street has had to rely on a local athletic club for showers and functioning toilets for more than a week. And there is no end date for the situation.

David Wright at Advance Pump Rhode Island said, “We have had numerous customers call with no water and find their well is just not producing any water or very little water; the increase in phone calls for wells to be drilled is crazy.”

"We need the public to be especially careful during this time by adhering to local water use restrictions, and exercising caution around any outdoor activities that increase the risk of brush and forest fires such as barbecues, campfires, and safe disposal of smoking materials," said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Acting Director Dawn Brantley.

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