NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker urged residents Thursday to step up water conservation efforts after five months of abnormally dry conditions.

In its latest weekly map of the Northeast region, the U.S. Drought Monitor expanded the area now considered to be in extreme drought to include Boston and much of northeastern Massachusetts, as well as a portion of southern New Hampshire.

During a visit to Smolak Farms in North Andover, Baker asked the public to limit the use of water as much as possible for the foreseeable future.

“By minimizing water use, especially while outside, we will collectively take crucial steps necessary to enable ground water and reservoirs to rebound quicker as we work together to manage and reduce the effects of a statewide drought,” the Republican governor said.

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts already have issued mandatory restrictions on outdoor lawn watering and other activities.

Indoor water conservation steps could include taking shorter showers, washing only full loads of laundry or dishes, and turning off the tap while brushing teeth.

Secretary of Public Safety Daniel Bennett said Massachusetts had not yet reached the point where demand for water exceeds the available supply.

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