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The original item was published from 12/9/2016 1:41:25 PM to 1/10/2017 12:20:00 AM.

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Posted on: December 9, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Drought Status Update 12/9/16

Drought Status Update - December 9, 2016

This past summer, Concord was situated in what became the epicenter of one of the most significant summer droughts that had been experienced in recent history.  This coupled with several operational challenges required the Public Works Commission to declare an emergency outdoor water use ban in accordance with their established Seasonal Demand Management Plan. On a positive note, the response from a majority of water customers effectively reduced water use during this period by over 1 million gallons a day. 

With late autumn rains turning into early winter ice and snow, we understand that for most of you, this drought of summer 2016 is becoming a distant memory.  While Concord Public Works has taken in our outdoor water use emergency signboards, we must caution that the long-term impacts from this drought have not yet been fully realized nor mitigated.  In fact, to this point, on December 7, 2016, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs reconvened the state’s Drought Management Task Force to reevaluate where the Commonwealth is with respect to the “drought” and what if any conditions or designations should remain in place.  Based on the human and environmental metrics used (including groundwater and surface water elevations), the Secretary has determined that despite the change in season, the state remains in a Drought condition.

Concord Public Works will continue to monitor both regional drought metrics as well as local water resource conditions so we can provide appropriate outreach and notification of what, if any, outdoor water use restrictions are merited, before we enter peak summer demand periods.  We will also be reviewing water policy discussions that stand to impact our rate payers, as they occur.  As we have cautioned for many years, water supply and use, especially during peak seasonal demand periods, is becoming increasingly scrutinized at the state and local level.  Collectively, we all need to better understand what can and should be done to increase the reliability of service, without needlessly compromising environmental goals and interests.    

Visit for resources on conserving water both indoors and outdoors.


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