It doesn't take much to realize the effects of the drought in Southeastern Massachusetts. Just take a look around. Lawns are dry and browning, grass crunches beneath our feet while garden have lost their luster. Many trees and plants droop. Ponds, lakes and reservoirs have slowly receded. Even wells and underground aquifers run the risk of having significantly reduced water levels or even drying up entirely. Many towns and cities have instated a water ban to conserve water for when it is really needed. This dry pattern is expected to continue through August and into the early weeks of Autumn.
Droughts are only expected to worsen across Massachusetts, the United States and the world as the planet continues to struggle with climate change. Droughts have already become more frequent and more severe in recent years as temperatures rise.
In times of drought, it becomes increasingly important to conserve water for obvious reasons. There are many measures a household can take to reduce water use and recycle water including taking shorter and less frequent showers, checking faucets and other water sources for leaks, recycling water whenever possible, and reducing lawn care.
Rain Barrels are an important tool when it comes to water conservation, during and outside of drought conditions. They capture water run off from roofs and other surfaces and allow the water to be stored until it can be reused. Rain barrels capture and contain water while reduce run-off pollution that is often associated with rainwater. Harvesting rainwater also reduces erosion, the risk of flooding.
In times of drought, rain barrels are an extra source of water that can help keep gardens nourished and lawns green. Having an extra source of water removes the pressure from other sources, such as wells or reservoirs.
**It’s important to remember that water collected in rain barrels is not potable and should not be consumed by humans, pets or livestock. **
Interested in your own rain barrel? The PCCD is selling a DIY Rain Barrel in a Box that comes with all of the hardware needed for a rain barrel- all you need is a barrel and drill!