Region: Drought conditions improve

Region: Drought conditions improve.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday indicates just less than half of Massachusetts, including northern sections of Worcester and Middlesex counties, is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.
Though the other half, which includes towns like Milford and Framingham, falls into the non-drought category, local officials say the change is not significant enough for them to roll back water restrictions in their communities.
In July last year, a startlingly low 0.87 inches of precipitation fell in Boston, whereas 3.62 inches have been recorded so far during this month alone.
The water level dropped steadily at Quabbin Reservoir from 92.4 percent capacity in June last year to a notably low 79.1 percent as of Jan. 1.
At Milford’s Echo Lake, officials measured 82.5 percent capacity Thursday, with a water line two inches below the spillway, according to David Condrey, director of the Milford Water Company.
“We’re just being very cautious.” The last time the lake reached full capacity was five years ago, he said.
“If we’re going to be very dry like last year it’s going to be very difficult for us to get there,” Condrey said.
Nonessential daytime outdoor watering will also be restricted in Upton from May 1 to Sept. 30, according to Department of Public Works Director Vincent Roy, who said the town’s water wells are in good shape.
“Talk to me in a month and it may be different,” Smith said.

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