The Cambridge Water Department turned on the spigot for MWRA water this month because of the drought that has dramatically reduced levels in its own reservoirs along Rte. 128.
On Monday, the Cambridge City Council considers allocating $3.6 million to buy 10 million gallons of Quabbin Reservoir water a week for the next three months.
The water department estimates it will have to keep buying MWRA water through next fall, at a cost of about $1.2 million a month - and cautions that could mean higher rates for its customers.
The department says it's also trying to reduce the amount of water large local institutions use, but that it may not get much savings from that:
While additional conservation efforts are an important tool for all users of our water system to participate in, Cambridge’s robust water conservation/water efficiency programs over the past two decades have resulted in Cambridge users using significantly less water per user than other communities in the Commonwealth and will make this more challenging to find significant water usage savings.