…and it’s approaching historic proportions. The town has an unusual situation because of the two colleges and the university located in it, mostly because of the roughly 30,000 students at UMASS Amherst. We’re now in a mandatory water reduction, meaning we can’t do things like water our lawn, wash our cars, and so on, not that we tended to do such things to begin with. The big worry is running out of water. The town is being forced to close the primary reservoir because it’s fallen too low. That’s happening this Friday. At that point we’re on well water only, and the prediction is that so long as the rain eventually returns and we have a somewhat normal winter, we’ll be ok and the aquifer and reservoir will survive this and recharge themselves. However, we’re at close to maximum draw on the wells, and the drought is worse than any on record. There’s some uncertainty about how long the aquifer can sustain this draw on the wells. Additionally, should something happen to one of the wells, we’re in trouble. Meantime there’s no rain in sight and this morning I woke up to find a town employee checking out our neighborhood, seemingly to see who’s been watering their lawns. You end up doing funny things in the face of these circumstances, like super short showers, catching the water you run in the shower while it heats up to water the house plants with, and carrying the kids bath water out in buckets to the bushes so they (hopefully) survive this. Wish us luck – I’ve stocked up in 25 gallons of bottled water just in case and have been considering getting more just to be safe.