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Moderate, severe drought is affecting all of New Hampshire

U.S. Drought Monitor

The vast majority of New Hampshire is in a moderate drought, with towns and cities bordering Massachusetts experiencing a severe drought, according to the most recent update from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Farms, wells, forests and animals across the state can face adverse conditions from drought.

New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services says that over the past 30 days, the state received just 25% to 50% of normal precipitation. That meant soil moisture, surface water levels and streamflow rapidly declined.

Short-term droughts are likely to increase, according to a recent report, as the climate changes. Last winter’s snowpack was low, and an early spring melt also contributed to the dry conditions the state is currently experiencing.

Read more about how climate change could make droughts more common in New Hampshire.  

Currently, 51 community water systems in the state, serving 55,000 people, have outdoor water use restrictions in place. Most of these are in the southernmost part of the state, which is experiencing a severe drought. Thecity of Lebanon also imposed outdoor water restrictions on Thursday, which prohibit lawn and landscape watering between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m..

The Department of Environmental Services says drought conditions are likely to persist. The forecasted precipitation over the next few months would not be enough to alleviate drought conditions, and higher than normal temperatures can exacerbate drought conditions.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at

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