The Baker-Polito Administration today announced nearly $647,000 in grants to help nine public water suppliers with water conservation, source and demand management, and other water withdrawal planning and mitigation projects across the Commonwealth. The funds are being awarded to the communities of Auburn, Danvers, Dedham-Westwood, Millis, Plainville, Provincetown, Scituate, Shrewsbury and Wrentham.
“As Massachusetts continues to experience serious drought conditions, these grants are an important tool for the state to help municipalities ensure they have enough clean water,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today’s water conservation and planning grants will support local projects that protect water quality, provide habitat improvements, upgrade water supply operations, and mitigate the impacts of water withdrawal.”
“This year’s drought has reminded everyone of the need for municipalities and water suppliers to plan ahead and ensure the sustainability of their water supply sources,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “With these grants, our Administration partners with local officials to help them improve the ecological condition of their watersheds and manage the demand placed on those resources.”
The grants are part of the Water Management Act (WMA) Grant Program, an effort by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to maintain healthy rivers and streams and, where possible, improve degraded water resources over time. The WMA Grant Program helps water suppliers by providing grants for watershed planning projects, demand management, minimizing for the impacts of existing withdrawals, and mitigating for increased water withdrawal impacts.
“Clean and safe water for residents is a basic, but critical requirement for state and local officials to fulfill,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As local officials address growing water demand, it is critical to implement mitigation projects that will increase stream flow, better manage wastewater and stormwater, and protect aquatic habitats.”
“It is important for the Commonwealth to assist local officials in their management of these vital natural resources,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These projects will protect local watersheds, improve or increase in-stream flow, and improve the efficiency of water use within that water basin.”
The WMA Grant Program helps guide water management in the Commonwealth for both the long-term water needs of communities and the protection of the aquatic ecosystems.
The following grants were awarded:
For more details on the WMA grant projects for 2016, go to WMA-2016 .For more information on the Sustainable Water Management Initiative framework and water withdrawals under the Water Management Act, go here
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.