The Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection, Office of Watershed Management manages and protects the drinking water supply watersheds that provide water for approximately 2.2 million Massachusetts residents. This Watershed System is comprised of three active water supply watersheds, the Quabbin Reservoir, Ware River, and Wachusett Reservoir, and an emergency supply comprised of the Sudbury and Foss Reservoirs. Watershed Protection Plans were initially developed for the active supply watersheds in 1991, with updates in 1998 and 2003 for the Wachusett Reservoir and 2000 for Quabbin Reservoir and Ware River. The Sudbury and Foss Reservoirs had a plan prepared in 1997. The 2008 Watershed Protection Plan updates and unifies all of these documents. The breadth and complexity of the Watershed System and DCR’s comprehensive approach to watershed management necessitated producing this plan in five volumes:
- Volume I – The DCR Watershed System
- Volume IIA – Quabbin Reservoir Watershed System file size 2MB
- Volume IIB – Ware River Watershed file size 1MB
- Volume IIC – Wachusett Reservoir Watershed file size 2MB
- Volume IID – Sudbury Reservoir and Foss Reservoir file size 1MB
Volume I presents the over-arching concepts used to develop and implement the watershed protection programs for the entire system. The four subsequent volumes apply these general concepts to the unique characteristics and issues of each watershed.
The 2008 Watershed Protection Plan continues DCR’s successful efforts of managing the source of an unfiltered water supply. This plan update provides a structured methodology to assess changes in watershed threats, develops programs to address the threats, and prioritizes staff assignments so they are congruent with current watershed management issues. Each volume concludes with a five year work plan that presents major tasks for the Division of Water Supply Protection to achieve from Fiscal Years 2009 to 2013.