Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued the following announcement on Jan. 31.
The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded five grants totaling $315,901 to help six communities and water suppliers 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, Danvers, Norfolk, Plymouth, Westford and Littleton.
“Protecting our public water supply is vital for the health of our communities and their long-term economic growth and development,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These water conservation and planning grants will help these communities restore and preserve these important local resources and plan for a sustainable water supply well into the future.”
“Our Administration continues to partner with local communities and water suppliers as they seek to improve the ecological condition of their watersheds and manage the demand on those resources,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Once implemented, these grants will help local officials increase their ability to address the growing demand for clean and safe water.”
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, and minimization and mitigation activities for water withdrawal impacts.
“The Water Management Act Program is designed to ensure that local municipalities have ample water to meet the health and safety needs of their residents, while carefully balancing the needs of the local environment,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These grants will also leverage an additional $80,000 in project work, bringing the total expenditure to almost $400,000, and will increase the positive environmental impact from these key local projects.”
“These grants provide practical help to communities,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “These projects receiving funding are also important to help improve water resource management.”
The following grants were awarded:
Auburn Water District: Permanent Interconnection with Worcester - Design and Permitting Phase 2 – $84,400.
Town of Danvers: Drought Management and Minimization Planning – $74,888.
Town of Norfolk: Integrating Water Smart Planning and Practices – $25,000.
Town of Plymouth: Supply Evaluation and Water Conservation – $53,544.
Westford and Littleton: Stonybrook Restoration Project – $78,069.
“Proper management and conservation of water resources is clearly a priority for the Auburn community,” said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). “I applaud the Administration for awarding this critical funding to support the second phase of this interconnection project. Ultimately, the system upgrades will encourage further conservation and responsible distribution of our most precious natural resource. I look forward to offering my continued support to bring this important infrastructure project to fruition.”
“I am so pleased to have helped secure this critical funding for Norfolk's water management plans,” said State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk). “As we continue to develop our community and our Commonwealth, it is important to be mindful of our water resources and work towards conserving them for generations to come. This funding will go a long way towards achieving that goal.”
“I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to assist communities with management of water resources,” said State Representative Matthew Muratore (R-Plymouth). “This grant will help Plymouth with planning to ensure that water will be available for all residents as the town continues to grow.”
“Danvers has made a strong effort over the last few years to improve our ability to handle drought conditions without burdening the Ipswich River,” said State Representative Ted Speliotis (D-Danvers). “This grant will greatly assist in these efforts.”
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 program is funded through the Massachusetts Five-Year Capital Plan, and requires a 20 percent match from the communities involved.
Additional details on the WMA grant projects for 2019 can be found here.
Original source can be found here.