- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants for Water Management, Conservation Projects
Joseph Ferson, Public Affairs Office
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $450,000 in grants to help six public water supplies with water conservation, source and demand management, and other water withdrawal planning and mitigation projects across the Commonwealth. The funding will be utilized in the communities of Auburn, Avon, Dedham, Medway, Wareham, Westford and Littleton.
“These grants support our efforts to help municipalities provide clean, safe and reliable drinking water to their citizens while protecting their local environment and wildlife,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As our climate changes, it is critical that we ensure our water resources and infrastructure are resilient and prepared for future impacts like drought.”
“As our Administration continues to help our communities plan and prepare for the effects of climate change and the ongoing and enduring demand to replace and improve the Commonwealth's water management infrastructure, we are proud to support and enhance municipal partnerships like these,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will further help local water suppliers in their efforts to provide high-quality water while ensuring they can meet future needs and demands.”
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 improve degraded water resources over time. The WMA Grant Program helps water suppliers by providing grants for watershed planning projects, demand management, minimization and mitigation activities for water withdrawal impacts.
“There is a multiplier effect that results from focusing on preserving and protecting our water resources through projects like these,” said Energy and Environment Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Measures we take that improve water quality and quantity also help protect wildlife habitat and improve the recreational opportunities in our rivers and streams.”
“The fact that these projects include a few that are a continuation of multi-year projects underscores the commitment of our municipal partners that both sides – the state and the community – are in this for the long-term preservation of our natural resources,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “This funding is awarded directly to local communities to help them improve and prepare for the future with confidence in their ability to meet the necessary water resource needs of their residents while protecting wildlife habitat.”
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: Permanent Interconnection with Worcester- $81,349
- Avon: Interconnections - $95,000
- Dedham Westwood Water District: Regional Conservation Project - $70,816
- Medway: Infiltration Feasibility Assessment - $30,500
- Wareham Fire District: Drought Management Plan - $104,483
- Westford and Littleton: Continuation of the Stonybrook Restoration Project - $70,163
“Water is one of our most vital resources and I am so pleased that the Auburn Water District will be receiving grant funding for the continuation of design and permitting for their interconnection with Worcester,” said State Senator Mike Moore (D-Millbury). “The Water Management Act Grant Program is a vital resource in helping municipalities and suppliers of public water across the Commonwealth address critical infrastructure needs.”
“I am very pleased that the Wareham Fire District will be receiving over $100,000 from a grant established through the Water Management Act,” said State Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “These funds will support the Town’s efforts to provide safe, clean water to Wareham residents and enable scarce municipal resources to be redirected for other important needs in the local community. I would like to thank all those who contributed to another successful grant round and commend them for utilizing the resources available for important initiatives that will improve public services in Wareham.”
“This is a very substantial grant, and I congratulate Superintendent Reid for his work in securing it,” State Representative Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham). “Weather in the long term can be unpredictable but having a plan in place to address something so critical to our water supply as potential drought will make a difference for our future.”
“This is great news for the Auburn Water District,” said State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn). “I know this is something they have been working towards for a long time and this grant will certainly help.”
For more details on the WMA grant projects for 2019-2020, and water withdrawals under the Water Management Act, turn to https://www.mass.gov/water-management-act-program.