Worcester Drinking Water - Drought Information

Public Notice: No Drought - Drought Restrictions are currently in effect.

Current Reservoir Capacity

As of: 4/26/2023


Current Drought Status

No Drought


  • No Drought
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4

Water Storage

Worcester's reservoir capacity has shown continued decline since May. Current capacity remains below the 24 year average.

Chart Showing Reservoir Capacity Trends

Drought triggers are a guideline based on historic drought information, average water consumption and reservoir system capacity.


Monthly rainfall totals have remained below the 24 year average since February. Below is a chart of the monthly rainfall totals compared to the average amount normally seen.

Chart Showing Rainfall Trends


In current conditions, even average daily water usage in combination with a lack of rainfall leads to depletion of the water supply. Conserving water doesn't just mean using less water, it also means using water more efficiently and YOU can make a difference. For more tips on water conservation, visit our Water Conservation Page.

Stage 1 Drought Alert Restrictions - Effective August 22, 2022

Stage 1 Use Reduction Goal

The goal under this Stage 1 Drought Alert is a five (5) percent reduction in overall water use.

Stage 1 Water Restrictions Applicable to All Water Users:

Water waste is prohibited:

  • Do not operate irrigation systems between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Repair as quickly as possible a controllable leak, including broken sprinkler heads, water services, fire pipes, leaking valves, leaking or broken pipes or faucets.
  • Do not operate an irrigation system with (a) a broken head; (b) a head that is out of adjustment and spraying into the street, parking area, or sidewalk; or (c) a system that is misting/fogging due to excessive water pressure.
  • Do not allow water from irrigation systems or hoses to: (a) run off property forming a stream of water for a distance of 50 feet or greater; (b) run into a storm drain; (c) pond to a depth of ¼ inch or greater.
  • Do not allow an irrigation system or lawn watering device to operate during any form of precipitation.


  • Reduce non-essential water use. As used herein, non-essential water uses are those that do not have a health or safety impact and are not needed to meet the core function of the department.
  • Audit all city government irrigation systems to ensure proper condition, settings and operation.
  • Notify consecutive systems (outside of Worcester but provided water from Worcester) of actions being taken and require them to implement equivalent drought stage measures to reduce water use by five percent.
  • Limit hydrant use permits. Variances may be granted under the approval of the Commissioner.
  • Increase public education efforts on ways to reduce water use.
  • Increase enforcement efforts.
  • Update list of known groundwater and leaks.
  • Increase public leak detection efforts.
  • Promote leak detection and repair.

Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Business

  • Identify and repair leaks on private plumbing, automatic irrigation systems and service lines.
  • Reduce exterior washing of vehicles at commercial facilities such as automobile rental, sales and service operations, taxi companies, trucking facilities and commercial garages where less than 50% of the water used is recycled. The washing of garbage trucks and vehicles used to transport food and/or other perishables may take place as necessary for health, sanitation or public safety reasons.
  • Prohibit washing of paved areas by any means except where a variance is granted to alleviate a possible public health and safety risk. Any pressure/power washing activities must be performed by a professional pressure/power washing service provider utilizing high efficiency equipment and a vacuum recovery system where possible.


  • Identify and repair leaks on private plumbing, automatic irrigations systems and service lines.
  • Prohibit washing of paved areas by any means.

Contact Information

Department of Public Works
20 East Worcester Street
Worcester, MA 01604

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-929-1300
Fax: 508-799-1448
Email Us

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Worcester 311
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Phone: 311
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