Local water systems are strained by drier than normal weather and households watering parched lawns.
More than 30 communities in Massachusetts, including several this week, have restricted water use. Some have banned sprinklers until supplies rebound.
Harry Hibbard, vice president of operations for Aquarion Water Co. of Massachusetts, says water use is higher than normal and rain has been nonexistent since summer began last month.
Communities in the Boston area served by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority's Quabbin Reservoir are unlikely to face cutbacks. The reservoir is at 96 percent of its 412 billion gallon capacity.
But cities and towns that rely on other sources are being forced to crack down, especially as this week's searing heat caused a dramatic jump in water consumption.
This program aired on July 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.