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Worcester Enters Stage 1 Drought Status, Enacts Outdoor Water Use Restrictions

For Immediate Release: 8/22/2022 4:10 pm

The City of Worcester entered a Stage 1 Water Supply Alert today, the result of the City’s reservoirs approaching 72 percent capacity. Certain drought contingency measures, such as the restriction of irrigation systems operating between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., are now in effect.

According to Jay Fink, the commissioner of the Department of Public Works & Parks, even the return to normal precipitation would not prevent Worcester from remaining at Stage 1, or entering Stage 2, in the coming months.

In an effort to reduce withdrawals from the reservoir system by 5 percent from current average consumption levels, the City will enact a number of water use restrictions, including:

  • Irrigation systems are not to operate in the City between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Irrigation systems must be adjusted to ensure water is reaching plants and lawns, not sidewalks, driveways, and streets.
  • Irrigation systems should only be used to the extent needed and not result in overwatering.

In addition, City staff will contact Worcester’s largest water users, including hospitals, colleges, major industrial facilities, and large apartment complexes, to discuss opportunities for reducing water usage.

The public is encouraged to practice good water conservation practices such as not letting the water run in your kitchen and bathroom sinks more than necessary, not letting the hose run while washing a car in the driveway, and ensuring dishwashers are full before running them.

Fink said that weather and water consumption during the next few months will determine whether higher drought stages and if more stringent water restrictions are needed.

For a complete list of the Stage 1 water restrictions, visit

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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