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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Are Drought Conditions Really Improving in the Northeast?

On Thursday, Feb. 23, the National Drought Mitigation Center released a survey about the drought condition that has been affecting a large part of the Northeast region of New England.

The NDMC, is an organization established in 1995, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. NDMC helps institutions by creating different measures to reduce the social impact that drought can have in our communities. They also conduct preparedness and risk management, as well as conduct collaborative research, help with advising policy makers, and create strategies for other international organizations.

One of the organizations that they work closely with is the US Drought Monitor. The US Drought Monitor oversees the provision of information regarding the drought circumstance of each state. They also provide information and updates to the departments of conservation and recreation of each state as well as the respective state climatologists.

The NDMC aid this organization by performing maintenance on their website, and helping prepare the map of drought impact in the US. The last survey they conducted for the US Drought Monitor was before the snowstorm that happened on Feb. 16.

The reports provided by the NDMC state that there has been a 28 percent drought decrease in western Maine, which brings the level of drought down to to moderate. This means that the conditions have improved from the past week, which were close to the severe drought.

They reported, “The exception was southwestern Maine, where two plus inches of precipitation, resulted in the contraction of moderate drought.” The report went on to state, “Half an inch or less of precipitation fell across most of the Northeast to Mid-Atlantic States, resulting in a drier-than-normal week.”

Connecticut is still experiencing an extreme drought, while parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Western Maine are undergoing severe drought.

According to the survey, the drought conditions in the state have not change much, despite all the precipitation that has happened in the past weeks. About 8.6 percent of Massachusetts is suffering an extreme drought, which is a great change from the 36.6 percent that the survey reported last week. Government officials agree that the situation hasn’t changed much since last week’s survey, where 59 percent of the state of Massachusetts was experiencing severe drought, and less than 1 percent was experiencing normal conditions.

Both the NDMC and the Drought Monitor are reported to have said, “Since late fall, precipitation has been on the increase in New England, but not great enough to put a major dent in the long-term deficits.”

The spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Ria Convery, expressed her concern, saying, “You never know how long a weather pattern like this could last. So, we continue to ask our customers to conserve wherever they can. However, we’re in pretty good shape and able to help out neighboring communities if need be.”
Our reservoir for water is in pretty good shape even though the percent of water has change from 88.3 percent last year to 79.2 percent this year. The water reservoir serves the greater Boston area, as well as 40 other communities.