Reservoirs recovering even as state’s drought drags on

The Patriot Ledger @nsimpson_ledger NORWELL – The 10 groundwater wells that supply Norwell’s water are about where they should be this time of year, but longtime Water Superintendent John McInnis says he isn’t taking any chances.
"Because of the experience we had last year, we’re going to be diligent in monitoring those groundwater levels," said McInnis, who at one point last year feared he might not have enough water to keep up with the demands of the town’s 10,000 residents.
More than a week into a wet spring, most of Massachusetts is still dogged by an unprecedented drought that took hold last summer and held on even as the snow began falling this winter.
More than 66 percent of the state remains in a "severe drought," according to to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and state officials recently put out a request for residents to continue limiting water use ahead of the dry season.
"We’re just keeping a close eye on it and we’ll see how it looks."
Restrictions on water use are routine in many Massachusetts towns during the summer months, but last year saw unprecedented measures in some towns as reservoirs and aquifers were drained to levels no one had ever seen before.
"There was a concern we could actually runs some of the wells dry," said McInnis, the Norwell water superintendent Those fears began to ease as fall turned into winter, but the drought itself did not.
Snow pack levels were also below normal this winter, but Rao, who heads up the state Drought Management Task Force, said the wet start to the spring has helped ease drought conditions in some areas.
The Boston area had received 10.7 inches of precipitation so far this year as of Wednesday, less than a quarter inch more than normal, according to the National Weather Service.
That’s been enough for many water management agencies to get back on their feet.

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