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With People Staying Home, Water Use Has Changed Dramatically Around Boston

Life has been different around Boston for weeks during the coronavirus pandemic, and you can see one way it’s changed entire communities in an essential resource: the water supply.

Water use has dropped nearly 6% across the region during the past eight weeks, during the governor’s stay-at-home order, according to figures compiled this week by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and cited by the city of Newton. The supplier compared use from March 18 to May 6 against averages from the previous three years.

Non-essential businesses have been shuttered and Boston and Waltham, both home to large commercial districts, experienced heavy drop-offs of 13.7% and 13.1%, respectively. Milton and Nahant have also used significantly less water in their areas, with Nahant down 9.1% from an average year.

Coachella Valley Water District Rewrites Budget Amid COVID-19, May Cut Spending $40 Million

The Coachella Valley Water District has released a revised annual budget for fiscal 2021 that represents the hard economic realities of operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new budget, which is currently a staff proposal, proposes a $40 million decrease in spending compared to the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. It will be discussed at board of directors meetings on Monday and Tuesday.

“Though we have a tremendous pent-up demand for facilities repairs and upgrades, we have committed to imposing no rate increases in FY 2021,” the staff presentation about the updated budget proposal says. “Instead, we have cut operating expenses and are temporarily tapping into our emergency reserves.”