Sustainable Water Management Initiative

In 2010, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs created the Sustainable Water Management Advisory Committee.

The Committee was comprised of a wide range of stakeholders and supported by staff, including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Working with the Water Management Act Advisory Committee and the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission, the Committee advised EEA and its agencies on the development of a water allocation program that examined solutions to satisfying water needs while recognizing ecological issues such as low streamflow.

Final Framework

In 2012, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) Framework, a precursor to the revision of regulations under the Water Management Act. The framework represented over two years of dedicated research, stakeholder input, and public outreach. In 2014, the Department of Environmental Protection promulgated revised Water Management regulations that incorporated the Framework’s methodology for defining Safe Yield and incorporating stream flow criteria into in Water Management Act permits.

SWMI Technical Resources

The SWMI process was based on several scientific studies and data collection efforts conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Environmental Protection. The SWMI Technical Resources page contains links to all relevant USGS reports, GIS and database tools created by agency staff, SWMI GIS data, and Division of Fisheries and Wildlife fish data. The technical resources page also contains the SMWI Pilot Study Reports conducted to test implementation of the SWMI Framework on four Massachusetts public water suppliers.

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