DCR Watershed Land Ownership Facts and Interactive Map

DCR controls over 45% of the source water supply watersheds that provides MWRA with drinking water for 3.1 million people.
Land and water protected by DCR's Division of Water Supply Protection

Management of harmful activities on lands within the watersheds is the best way to ensure pure water for unfiltered water supply systems. The Quabbin Reservoir, Ware River, and Wachusett Reservoir watersheds are the three active watersheds that currently provide over 200 million gallons a day of water for 3.1 million consumers who get their drinking water from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The Sudbury Reservoir watershed (which includes the Foss (or Framingham #3) Reservoir) is the reserve supply for this system.

DCR's Division of Water Supply Protection owns or has control of activity on:

  • 62% of the Quabbin watershed
  • 41% of the Ware River watershed
  • 29% of the Wachusett watershed
  • 46% of the land in the active water supply watershed system
  • 15% of the Sudbury ‘reserve’ watershed.

Other state agencies, nonprofit land conservation organizations and municipalities also play a role in permanently protecting lands in the watershed system. These types of organizations own or control activity on:

  • 15% of the Quabbin watershed
  • 12% of the Ware River watershed
  • 17% of the Wachusett watershed
  • 15% of the land in the active water supply watershed system
  • 11% of the Sudbury ‘reserve’ watershed.

61% of the land spread over all three of the active water supply watersheds are permanently protected lands. A quarter of the area in the reserve water supply is protected.

The following table has more details about land conservation in the DCR/MWRA Water Supply System.  There is also an interactive map that shows these water supply protection properties.

Table of Contents

Land Ownership Data in the DCR/MWRA Water Supply System

Land Protection Summary in DCR Watershed System 2022
Summary of Protected Lands in the DCR/DWSP Watershed System Percent by Watershed - 2022

Interactive Map: Protected Lands in the DCR/MWRA Watershed System

Contact   for DCR Watershed Land Ownership Facts and Interactive Map

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