June 2, 2009

RE: Seasonal Demand Management Plan for Permitted Commercial/Industrial Facilities

Dear Commercial/Industrial Manager:

Consistent with good water conservation practices and as part of the Water Management Permit Renewal, permitted commercial/industrial facilities will be required to implement a drought triggered Seasonal Demand Management Plan (SDMP) at permit renewal. The SDMP, at a minimum, restricts nonessential outdoor water use between May 1st and September 30th whenever the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force declares a drought level of "Advisory" or higher ("Watch, Warning or Emergency") for the region in which your water withdrawal point is located. Further reductions in nonessential outside water use are encouraged.

To assist commercial/industrial facility managers, the Department committed to developing a SDMP outline for permittees. The outline was developed to facilitate the requirement of the SDMP, assess your implementation with a list of water conservation Best Management Practices, and evaluate your ability to implement a SDMP.

Of particular importance in developing your SDMP and in evaluating its effect on your commercial/industrial facility is the recognition of nonessential outside water uses. Nonessential outside water use refers to landscape watering, spray washing of parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, etc. (activities not to be confused with appropriate Best Management Practices for parking lot or driveway cleaning required for stormwater management purposes). The Department recognizes that water used in the production of food or fiber, or to meet the core function of a business, is considered essential water use and not subject to SDMP restrictions.

If your facility currently has a program to limit nonessential outdoor water use that meets the Water Management SDMP criteria, a completed form may serve as your SDMP, pending the Department's review and approval. Permittees also have the option of offering an alternative SDMP Plan that includes specific conservation measures that could result in greater facility-wide water savings or greater environmental benefits than the nonessential outdoor water restrictions required by the SDMP. MassDEP will review any alternative SDMP.

As your permit gets renewed, you will be required to implement the reductions in your SDMP whenever a drought level of "Advisory" or higher is declared for the region in which your water withdrawal point is located. You will be expected to report on the implementation of that SDMP on your Annual Report filing with MassDEP.

Please complete and return the SDMP form to the Department prior to permit renewal. The Department will notify you if further modification to your plan is required in advance of the implementation date.

Finally, with the increased costs for all resources, conserving water is a method businesses can use to save money. Businesses are encouraged to look at the volume of their essential water use to determine if additional conservation can be implemented. The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) provides a range of assistance and information designed to improve water use efficiency and reduce wastewater discharge. Information on OTA's water conservation service can be accessed at: OTA Water Conservation Services

Should you have any questions concerning this matter please contact Duane LeVangie at 617-292-5706 or Tom Lamonte at 617-292-5532.