Water Supply Status

This page contains information about the city’s water supply which includes a description of the source water system and items relative to any ongoing water restrictions.  Information on water conservation can be found on the city’s water conservation webpage.

Normal  Watch  Warning   Emergency Critical 
Less than 5%
reduction in
supply capacity
Between 5% and
10% reduction in
supply capacity
Between 10% and
20% reduction in
supply capacity
Between 20% and
35% reduction in
supply capacity
Greater than 35%
reduction in
supply capacity
Shaded block indicates current local drought stage

System Description

The public water supply for the City of Haverhill is obtained through a system of surface water supply reservoirs with Kenoza Lake being the terminal reservoir.  This is where water is withdrawn and treated in the city’s water treatment plant prior to being pumped into the water distribution system for delivery to water customers.

primary series of water supply reservoirs for Haverhill’s water supply is Kenoza Lake, Millvale Reservoir, Crystal Lake, Round Pond, and Winnekenni Basin.  This system of reservoirs has a State permitted withdrawal of 7.1 million gallons per day averaged over the course of the entire year.

Haverhill also has a series of registered emergency water supply reservoirs.  The emergency system consists of Johnson Pond, Chadwick Pond, and Hovey’s Pond.  While these supplies were once an integral part of the city’s water supply they were removed from primary supply service in 1980.  As a result of the city’s 2003 Water Management Act permit, Johnson Pond was removed as an active source by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Any future use of this emergency system would require authorization from the MassDEP as well as the use of portable rental water treatment units.

The next generation of Haverhill’s water supply lies in groundwater withdrawn from a well or series of wells drilled into the sand and gravel deposits along and under the Merrimack River.  Preliminary water supply study efforts have considered utilizing the city’s existing emergency sources but the most feasible and cost effective option is to develop a high yielding ground water supply.  On May 29, 2012 the City Council approved an Order that accepted the recommendation of Mayor Fiorentini’s Water Supply Committee to advance work on a ground water supply.  Since that authorization the city has been working on exploring various sites along the riverbank and is in the process of preparing to construct a large diameter test well that can eventually be transitioned to a public water supply well once all applicable testing and permitting is complete.  This new ground water supply would be incorporated into the city’s existing primary water supply reservoir system and eventually be utilized to increase the daily withdrawal limit of 7.1 million gallons per day.  Download our project summary document for more detail on this water supply project.

Current Supply Status

Haverhill and the region are in the midst of dry spring
   Rainfall Rainfall Rank
in 125 Years
 May 2020  1.77"  18th Driest
 2020 YTD Total
(through May 31)
 17.13"  64th Driest
Rainfall data based on water department records dating to 1895   
season period due to the lack of precipitation.  During the
month of May only 52% of the average rainfall was recorded.  June is trending to be similar with less than recorded average rainfall for the month.

   Water Supply Status for the Month of:    May 2010
 Water Body  Start of
Month Level
 End of
Month Level
End of Month
of Days
 Kenoza Lake 113.6  112.9  94.8  174,803,718   31
 Millvale Reservoir 45.2   43.3  86.3 111,166,987   16
 Crystal Lake 152.9  152.6  98.3 
    Reservoir Balance:  -63,636,731  

Conditions across the Commonwealth are similarly dry.  You can view the Commonwealth’s drought status here.  On a local level, Haverhill has entered drought watch.  Haverhill’s drought watch status is determined when Kenoza Lake is between 5% and 10% below the average reservoir capacity on any particular day.  As of June 24, 2020 Kenoza Lake is 6.6% below average capacity and trending toward 10% below average capacity.  You can view a chart of the current lake level using the following links.

Kenoza Lake Level Trend
Kenoza Lake Capacity Deviation

Content last updated: June 24, 2020