For Immediate Release - January 05, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Awards Nearly $647,000 in Grants for Water Management, Conservation Projects

Projects to Increase Waterway Flow, Recharge Aquifers and Support Critical Habitats

BOSTON - 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:

  • Auburn Water District: Water Interconnections with Worcester -$76,000
  • Town of Danvers: Data Collection and Planning - $103,940
  • Dedham-Westwood Water District: Dropcounter, Source Optimization, and Stormwater Projects - $96,610
  • Town of Millis: Stormwater Utility Feasibility Analysis - $44,742
  • Town of Plainville: Water Rate Study - $19,920
  • Town of Provincetown: Leak Detection and AC Pipe Condition Assessment - $75,600
  • Town of Scituate: First Herring Brook - Dam Modifications - $115,250
  • Town of Shrewsbury: Water Accounting - $45,690
  • Town of Wrentham: Bioretention System - $68,737

"Congratulations to the Auburn Water District and the Town of Shrewsbury on receiving funding through this important grant program," said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). "These grants will strengthen water conservation and sustainability efforts, and have a tremendous impact on protecting our most precious natural resource. I commend the Administration for awarding these grants and I look forward to continuing my support in the Senate to help ensure that these funds are available to flow in the future."

"In 2016, several municipalities in my district were awarded grants under MassDEP's Sustainable Material Recovery Program in recognition of their efforts to take part in various environmental protection procedures," said State Senator Richard Ross (R-Wrentham). "New funds under the Water Management Grants will provide opportunities for these communities to explore new systems that better conserve and manage water, as well as help achieve innovative sustainability goals in 2017."

"I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for awarding this stormwater project water grant to Dedham-Westwood Water District," said State Senator Mike Rush (D-West Roxbury). "Protecting and preserving our water infrastructure is essential to the community and these funds will assist in this endeavor."

"I commend Scituate's Department of Public Works for submitting an exceptional grant proposal and for continuing to pursue a long-term approach for water management," said State Representative Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield). "I am excited to see this significant award to our community and grateful to Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for prioritizing investments that will sustain our rivers, streams, and other water resources for future generations."

"Water is one of our greatest resources and I am so proud that the Baker-Polito Administration has made it such a priority," said State Representative Shawn C. Dooley (R-Norfolk). "This groundwork will help preserve and protect our water for generations to come."

"The Water Management Act grant from the Baker-Polito Administration will enable the Town of Shrewsbury to improve accounting of water uses, take critical steps towards controlling water loss, and will allow the town to better correlate customer metering data and source meters, enhancing Shrewsbury's municipal water system," said State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury).

"I am happy that the Town of Millis, as well as many other towns in the Commonwealth, received this much-needed grant money to help assist with ongoing water crises," said State Representative David Linsky (D-Natick).

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.

# # #