State Drought Conditions Discussed at First Drought Task Force Meeting of 2021

July 1, 2021

AUGUSTA, MAINE - Maine's Drought Task Force convened virtually yesterday, June 30, to discuss drought conditions across the state. Maine saw a rainfall deficit in May and June this year, with Caribou and Portland logging the warmest June on record. However, central and western Maine are currently experiencing the most drought.

"We're already starting to see conditions month to month that are well below normal," said Nick Stasulis, Data Section Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey and Co-chair of the Drought Task Force. "We didn't get the significant spring recharge we were hoping to see."

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, Drinking Water Program (DWP) report that many public water systems in Maine are currently taking steps to prepare for a drought and modify operations to accommodate low water.

Susan Breau with DWP added, "During the past few weeks we've received requests for assistance, mostly in the southern and coastal portions of the state."

Maine has seen some instances of dry wells, prompting the opening of the Dry Well Survey for private landowners and private wells with 6 reported thus far.

Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Rogers expressed the importance of Drought Task Force members working in tandem through the summer. "I'm concerned about lightning strikes and dry well reports. It's really critical to keep information flowing," said Director Rogers.

Slight relief from the warm temperatures is in the forecast. "The heat will break down as we enter the holiday weekend. We can expect a good cool down with gradually decreasing humidity," said Sarah Jamison of the National Weather Service in Gray. "But the outlook for next week will heat up again."

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry noted that farmers who have irrigation are using it heavily in most areas of the state. "The first-cut hay crop has been good, but subsequent hay growth has been slow," said Tom Gordon, Public Service Coordinator. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides an online Hay Exchange resource at:

The Drought Task Force is made up of state, federal and private scientific, agricultural, regulatory, water use and natural resources organizations and assists in monitoring, coordinating, and managing responses to droughts and recommends actions to minimize impacts to public health, safety, the environment and agriculture. The Task Force will continue to monitor the situation and plans to convene again in one month unless conditions worsen and would then consider meeting sooner.

For more information, please visit:

Maine Drought Task Force:

Drought Monitor:

USGS Water Watch:

USGS Groundwater Watch:

Northeast Drought Early Warning System (NE DEWS):

Dry Well Survey:

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