*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***
DATE: Sept. 11, 2020
TIME: Regular business hours
WHAT: Abnormally Low Rainfall, Soil Moisture, and the 2020 New England Drought
WHO: David Boutt, geoscientist at UMass Amherst
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Amherst hydrogeologist David Boutt is available to talk about the relationship between drought, streamflow, and groundwater. New Hampshire and much of New England have seen anomalously low rainfall over the past few months.
The situation is getting attention from farmers, homeowners and gardeners who worry about wells going dry in some areas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared parts of New England to be in moderate to severe drought conditions.
There is a lag time in how groundwater responds to precipitation, and it can be quite variable, Boutt says. Shallow soil moisture deficits – indicated by dry lawns and grasses – are the first indication of hydrologic effects of drought and have steadily been decreasing throughout the summer. Local streams can still be flowing even though it hasn’t rained because it is fed by groundwater slowly draining through the system over months to years.
About David Boutt:
Current USA drought map:
Current Evaporative Demand Drought Index: