The Office of Water Resources  (OWR) is focused on understanding and protecting the water resources of the Commonwealth for the people and habitats that depend on them. OWR implements this mission through three program areas:

Water Resources Assessment and Planning Program

The WRAP Program provides science, policy guidance, and technical assistance to decision‐makers and the public to ensure that the long term water needs of the Commonwealth’s residents, communities, and environment can be met.

Key program areas as described below.

Drought Management Task Force

Flood Hazard Management Program

The Flood Hazard Management Program is the state coordinating office for the National Flood Insurance Program, providing floodplain management technical information and assistance to community officials and others concerning the NFIP as well as coordinating statewide floodplain management policies to accomplish comprehensive flood loss reduction. This program also jointly administers, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the state's hazard mitigation  programs, through planning and project grants and technical assistance to community officials

Interbasin Transfer Act

Lakes and Ponds Program

Staff operate the statewide Lakes and Ponds Program , offering technical assistance to communities and citizen groups, monitoring water quality at various public beaches to ensure public safety, and providing educational materials to the public about various lake issues.

Water Data Tracking 

  Water Needs Forecast Policy and Methodology  pdf format of Water Needs Forecast Policy and Methodology

The Office of Water Resources develops water needs forecasts for public water suppliers and communities seeking increased water withdrawals under the Water Management Act (WMA) and for other purposes as deemed appropriate by the Water Resources Commission.

For information about this policy and methodology, please contact

Anne Carroll    (617) 626-1395 

Water Resources Commission

WRAP also provides technical and administrative staff to the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission (WRC).

Special Projects

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) received a $1.04 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s   Ipswich River Watershed: EPA Targeted Watershed Grant  program to demonstrate an integrated approach to addressing the problems facing the Ipswich River. This approach encompassed two strategies:

  • Low-Impact Development (LID) – landscaping and design techniques that capture stormwater and recharge it to the groundwater
  • Water Conservation – education strategies and technologies that reduce demand on water supplies, and associated groundwater pumping, especially during dry months