Rivers Alliance
of Connecticut
Connecticut's United Voice for River Conservation


Connecticut Streamflow Overview

Connecticut Streamflow Overview

Know The Flow!

(Please note this was written before the rain events of Mar 29-30. This page will be updated soon)

Mar 28, 2014 Summary: According to The Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service of the National Weather Service, Connecticut rainfall during the last 30 days (as of March 28) was less than 50% of normal for the entire state, with one area less than 25% of normal. Connecticut rainfall during the last 60 days showed most of the state below 75% of normal with the rest of the state below 90% of normal.  The US Geological Service streamflow map of Connecticut shows only 1 in 10 streams and rivers (all in southwest CT) flowing anywhere near normal, most streams are more than 50% below average with about a third of our streams are less than 20% of normal flow for this time of year. However, ALL flows have been steadily dropping and as Fri Mar 28 all of them are now at or below the actual numerical long term average for that site.

 Hopefully the short and long range forecasts that show a decent amount of rainfall for the next two weeks will prove accurate, or all of the streams in CT will soon show the orange and red of below average flow. Though groundwater levels  are mostly at or above levels expected for this time of year due to snowmelt, once all the snow has melted streamflow will drop rapidly unless we get significant rainfall. The groundwater station for southwest CT is below average, so their streamflow may drop faster than the rest of the state.  The US Drought Monitor map of Connecticut shows that as of Tuesday Mar 25, only about 19% of the state was classified in abnormally dry conditions, but that will change if precipitation remains below normal.

Link to NWS graphic page
Graphic courtesy NOAA NWS showing CT area watches and warnings if any.

The State of CT Drought Preparedness and Response Plan authorizes the state to issue a Drought Advisory if the majority of the following criteria are met:

Criteria to Declare Drought Advisory
Precipitation: Two months cumulative below 65% of normal
CT State Water Status
Ground Water: Three consecutive months below normal,
USGS Groundwater
Streamflow: Two out of three months below normal,
Burlington Brook Streamflow
Reservoirs: Average levels less than 80% of normal..
CT State Water Status
Palmer Drought Severity Index::
 -2.0 to -2.99 (moderate drought)
Palmer Drought Index
Crop Moisture Index: range of
 -1.0 to –1.99 (Abnormally Dry)
Daily(ish) Forest Fire Danger Report
Click on any graphic below for more informationion
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High Flow    Low Flow
[color code for]
CT Current Streamflow. Click to go to source page.
Streamflow in CT (click to go to the data page)
Current US Drought Conditions. Click to open source page.
Link to US Drought Monitor
Link to CT drought map


More Links:

State of CT - Drought (Search)

USGS Connecticut DroughtWatch

Water Conservation tips

Water Conservation is not just for droughts; it is important because:

  • It saves money and energy

  • It insures the reliability of your water supply

  • It protects our natural resources

What Can I Do?

  • Set a voluntary water use reduction goal of 10% (whether served by public water systems or private wells)

  • Cut back on unnecessary water use, such as watering lawns or washing cars

  • Cooperate with your local water utility and follow their plans

Model Water Use Restriction Ordinance (PDF, 28KB)

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
PO Box 1797
7 West Street, 3rd Floor
Litchfield, CT 06759