09.07.2016 Quabbin Water level comparison

I have mentioned our lack of rain and falling water levels.  Back on August 1st, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority listed the Quabbin Reservoir to be at 87% capacity. Coincidentally, I made this image the same day.

north-quabbin-gate-35-090316-800-2That represents a drop of 13% or @53.5 billion gallons of the full capacity of 412 billion. More than a few bathtubsful.

This past weekend, on September 3, I went back and made another image.

north-quabbin-gate-35-090316-800-1This is the same location as my recent post emphasizing the sand bar’s connection to the shore. The MWRA has not posted the level recorded for Sept. 1 yet, but it would appear to be a significant change.  To date, as far as I have seen on the interweb, Boston itself has not implemented any water use restrictions although several of the outer towns do have some bans, either mandatory or voluntary. There are not too many lawns to be found in downtown Boston to be sure, but there could be other proposals.

This location is inside Gate 35 in Petersham, MA.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Central Massachusetts, ecology, Environment., Landscape, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Water and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to 09.07.2016 Quabbin Water level comparison

  1. shoreacres says:

    There’s nothing so disconcerting as watching a lake or reservoir level drop. I still remember the days when people were mowing a couple of our lakebeds during the last big drought. It will be interesting to hear what the official level was on September 1. As you say, the difference is clear: although I must admit I find that second photo especially interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What an unusual thing to do – mowing a lake bed. That suggests something I should do this weekend…visit Murphy Falls and see if there is anything to clean from the rocks before the water starts to flow heavily again.

      The light – in both scenes there seems to be imminent weather. And in both cases there was…sunny and blue skies. 🙂


  2. Gallivanta says:

    That’s a huge change in a month. We have dry conditions here, too, but not tonight. There’s a storm raging. It may bring us all the rainfall we need for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Although I had been given a “heads up” about the sand bar now being connected to the shore (well, of course it always was but submerged) it still was a surprise to see it up close. I hope things go in reverse very soon.

      Glad to hear that you are getting some needed rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. selah says:

    that is quite the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As we move forward water will become the new gold.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While the sandbar is accessible, have you gone out there (or do you plan to) to get pictures that you wouldn’t normally be able to get?


    • The islands, which does include sandbars, is off-limits. Despite all the footprints which you may not have noticed in my previous sand bar post, we are not supposed to visit them whether afoot or aboat. Obviously, many people do not heed that rule as with many other things in our society. The DCR is very protective of the Quabbin water and certain areas such as the islands and one particular peninsula require special permits and then only for research. Landscape photography isn’t within that description.


  6. Ah, I didn’t realize the place was so restricted.


    • It has always been protected but even more so after 9/11/2001. Fishing is allowed but the boats have to be certified clean of all potential parasites and other unwelcome life forms such as mussels and are limited in their horsepower and speed.


  7. krikitarts says:

    It’s sad but true that way too many folks take readily-available and unlimited water for granted. We must change this way of thinking and learn to treasure it while it’s available at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. We too are (very) dry. We have been watching the pond drop, and drop, and then drop some more. I am sure that the increase in temperature and increased concentration of dissolved solids and, perhaps, decrease in oxygen levels is very stressful for the creatures that live there. It’s tough to watch … and without significant moisture in the forecast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The place that I am most concerned about is the local swamp I visit often, although not recently, and worry about the fish, turtles and frogs that I see there along with the birds that feed on them. When I was last there a month ago the water was looking particularly turbid. I expect it to be much worse at this point in time. On the brightish side, we did get about 15 minutes of light rain overnight and our weekend could hold some more if the forecast I just saw holds true.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Todd Henson says:

    Wow, it’s one thing to hear about water shortages and low water levels, but it’s another to see it. Another reason it’s great to return to the same places over and over again, see and document how they change.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Both shots are nice but it becomes depressing comparing the lake levels. A water ban should be in place and I have to wonder why that has yet to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Seen like that, two images to compare, is really shocking. Are you getting lots of rain now due to the hurricane? Until recently Chicago residents did not have meters on their water!!!!! Leaky faucets were the norm. I can only hope this has been addressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t been back, but I have seen images by others and the water is down still further. No, not yet. The hurricane is still down in the Caribbean and now the projected path looks to be staying down there…maybe even curling for a return to Florida after it hits there tomorrow. We might get a little rain anyway from other sources but not enough to make much of a difference.
      Speaking of leaks, the conduits between Quabbin and Boston were, in some places, leaky wood. Yup. They have been replaced, but for years there were heavy water losses along the way.


  12. Pingback: 12.28.2018 Quabbin Spillway spillin’ away. | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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