Drought Conditions Worsen Across Maine


July 26, 2018


State Agencies Monitoring

AUGUSTA, MAINE For the third summer in a row, Maine is experiencing drought conditions. In 2016, the State experienced a drought for the first time since 2002.

"Except for Washington County, every county in Maine is experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions in at least part of the county," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Suzanne Krauss. "We were in good shape early in the spring because of the large amount of snow we received last winter, but conditions have been warm and dry this summer putting us back in a drought situation."

The dry conditions are about to turn around according to Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray. "We are actually transitioning into a wetter than normal pattern. The six-to-10 day, eight-to-14 day, and three-to- four-week precipitation forecasts are all calling for above normal precipitation."

Hawley stated that the next several days could bring 1-2 inches of rain across the state, with coastal areas from Rockland to Kittery receiving largest amounts. Additional rain is expected early next week.

"Through July 24, 2018, the seven-day average streamflow conditions throughout Maine are generally in an extreme to moderate hydrologic drought condition." said Nicholas Stasulis, Data Section Chief, U.S. Geological Survey. "Groundwater conditions are more variable, with many wells showing below normal or much below normal conditions, and some in the low end of the normal range."

"A sub-group of the Drought Task Force is monitoring conditions closely," said Krauss. "We will convene the group if conditions worsen. Meanwhile, those who own wells should check water levels and if the water is low, consider reducing daily water usage and balance usage throughout the day to allow for groundwater recharge. Well owners are encouraged to share any concerns with their local emergency managers and towns."

Citizens are reminded to avoid filling wells with foreign water due to the dangers of contamination, corrosion or lead problems. Citizens are encouraged to use water wisely. More information on water conservation and available resources is available at Maineprepares.com.



Susan Faloon