You may have noticed lately that the grass is not lush and green. According to the United States Drought Monitor, most of Massachusetts is experiencing a severe drought. The constant extreme heat, lack of rainfall, and mild winter this past year have contributed to these conditions.
In Massachusetts, rainfall is nearly seven inches below normal and the Charles River, Ipswich Rivers and many other rivers and streams in eastern Massachusetts are at record low flows, according to the Charles River Watershed Association. The National Weather Service is expecting the drought to continue through October.
Droughts, like the one we are currently experiencing, can cause lasting agricultural, environmental, and economic impacts, and also raise serious public safety concerns. Read our tips on how you can conserve water at your home and business:
- Stop watering your lawn and let it go dormant. Don’t worry — it’ll revive itself next season!
- Create a rationing plan in the event of a water shortage. Store up to 1 gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation.
- Install a rain catch system, such as a rain barrel. You can stock rainwater for drought conditions by using it to water your lawn and cleaning. Install a large barrel under one of your gutters to catch the rain. If this water is needed for drinking in case of an emergency, filter it thoroughly before consuming.
- Droughts increase the risk of wildfires. Use extreme caution when dealing with outdoor burning, such as fire pits and grilling.
- Educate everyone in your household on the dangers of drought and the importance of water conservation.
- Stop watering grass and plants. Turn off sprinkler systems.
- Fix leaks of any appliances and limit non-critical water use.
- Install water efficient appliances and green infrastructures, such as low-volume toilets and water-efficient taps with an aerator or flow restrictor.
- If you are a bar or restaurant owner, only serve water and ice to guests if requested. Install water-efficient dishwashers to use 50% less water than average models.
- If you are in the agriculture business, you should consider investing in crop insurance to protect your crops from unpredictable factors such as drought.
- Educate everyone in your company on the dangers of drought and the importance of water conservation
Water Conservation Tips
- Repair dripping faucets, pipes, and running toilets. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year.
- Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
- Stop watering lawns, let them go dormant. Use mulch to naturally cool down trees and garden plants that do not need a lot of water.
- Handwash dishes by filling two containers — one with soapy water and the other with rinse water. Don’t let the tap run while washing.
- Upgrade to water efficient toilets, clothes washers, showerheads, and faucets.
- Follow your town’s watering restrictions. Here is a list for towns in Massachusetts.
It’s a collective effort to prevent the adverse effects of drought. Stay safe, cool, and hydrated during the rest of the summer by practicing these precautions and sharing them with family, friends, neighbors, employees, and co-workers.
If you have questions about drought and your insurance coverage, give us a call at 800-333-7234 or visit our website.