For Immediate Release - January 27, 2014

Patrick Administration Grants $1.1M for Water Demand Management, Conservation Projects

Projects to remove dams, increase waterway flow, recharge aquifers and support habitats

BOSTON – Monday, January 27, 2014 – The Patrick Administration today announced more than $1.1 million in grants to help 16 communities with water conservation, demand management and other water withdrawal mitigation projects.

“Preserving the Commonwealth’s natural resources yields both environmental and economic benefits,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “These grants will help conserve our water resources, restore important water habitats and improve Massachusetts’ water supply.”

Funding was awarded to projects that will increase in-stream flow, improve the handling of wastewater and stormwater, upgrade ecosystem habitat, manage water demand and improve the water supply.

“Despite the general abundance of water resources in Massachusetts, we must still employ effective water conservation measures to ensure that the fragile supply and the ecosystems it supports will thrive over the long term,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. “These projects will help to remove dams, increase waterway flow, recharge aquifers by keeping local water within its own watershed, and reduce the daily demand for water.”

The grants are part of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI), an effort by EEA to maintain healthy rivers and streams and improve degraded water resources over time. The SWMI Grant Program helps water suppliers by providing grants for planning watershed projects, developing ecological improvement projects and managing projects that reduce the demand for water in a municipality or watershed.

"These grants and the projects they fund are important to Massachusetts' communities and will help sustain our natural resources and the high quality aquatic communities that fish and wildlife species depend on for their habitat," said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin.  

SWMI helps guide water management in the Commonwealth for the many long-term water needs of communities and aquatic ecosystems.

The following grants were awarded:

Acton: Water audit evaluation – $82,187
Ashland: Wastewater analysis – $67,455
Auburn: Optimization of stormwater infiltration – $48,520
Canton: Demand management planning - $37,338
Foxboro: Water audits to reduce unaccounted for water - $30,000
Franklin: Regional evaluation of water management alternatives to reduce streamflow impacts in the Upper Charles River Watershed – $119,460
Groton: Water supply management and demand management plans – $53,400
Hanover: Recharge analysis and site construction – $58,959
Holden: Sectional flow monitoring program - $36,944
Hudson: SWMI feasibility analysis - $87,320
Kingston: Water supply optimization – $75,000
Kingston: Jones River stream gage - $12,800
Littleton: Maximizing sustainable water management by minimizing the cost of meeting human and ecological water needs - $95,822
Medway: Water audits – $35,420
Scituate: First Herring Brook and Reservoir Dam fish passage – $54,500
Sharon: Regional water conservation pilot project (in Canton, Foxboro, Sharon, Stoughton and the Dedham-Westwood water district) – $90,770
Worcester: Patch Pond Dam removal feasibility study – $119,040

For more details on the SWMI grant projects for 2014, go to http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/watersheds/sustainable-water-management-initiative-swmi.html.

For more information on the SWMI framework and water withdrawals under the Water Management Act, turn to: www.mass.gov/eea/swm

“I’m proud to see that towns across the Commonwealth, including Kingston, will benefit from this initiative,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “Water and wastewater management are critical to the health and vitality of our communities. I want to thank the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for their continued dedication to improving the Commonwealth’s natural resources.”

“As a representative of a coastal community, I am acutely aware of how important it is to make environmental investments that help Massachusetts conserve and manage our vital  resources, such as water,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “I thank the Patrick Administration and Commissioner Kimmell for their foresight in protecting our natural resources and securing these grants.”

“I am pleased the Commonwealth continues to take steps to make our water resources more sustainable for all communities,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These grants support important projects that balance the needs of our citizens with the needs of our ecosystems and will help protect the water supply well into the future.”

“The Patrick Administration continues to recognize the importance of assisting communities throughout the Commonwealth as they implement programs to better serve and protect their residents,” said Representative Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

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