Members of the Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship (MCWRS) received the two largest grants announced in January as part of the state’s Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI).
The Town of Franklin received the largest grant, $119,460 to conduct a regional evaluation of water management alternatives to reduce streamflow impacts in the Upper Charles River Watershed. The project will use an optimization framework to evaluate the effects of enhanced water conservation, alternative well pumping regimes, recharge of stormwater runoff, reducing groundwater leakage into sewer pipes, and alternative sources of water.
Next was the City of Worcester, which received a $119,040 grant to fund a feasibility study on removing the Patch Pond Dam. The dam is obsolete, unsafe, and detrimental to the aquatic biology of Tatnuck Brook. The feasibility study will include an infrastructure, habitat and sediment evaluation, hydrologic and hydraulics analyses, and the identification and evaluation of deconstruction and removal alternatives.
A third MCWRS member, the Town of Holden, received a $36,944 grant to fund a system-wide sectional flow monitoring program in order to reduce unaccounted for water (UAW) in the town. The town has conducted annual system-wide leak detection over the past two years, with numerous leaks found and repaired. However, there has not been a significant reduction in UAW. The sectional flow monitoring program will include master meter testing, master meter calibration, distribution system analysis and system model updates, detailed leak-detection efforts within high-flow areas, and lead repairs.
A total of 16 communities shared $1.1 million from the SWMI Grant Program, which seeks to improve degraded water resources and maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems. SWMI grants support projects that will improve the handling of wastewater and stormwater, conserve natural resources and ecosystem habitats, manage demand for water in municipalities and improve the water supply.
The complete list of 2014 SWMI grants is available on the website of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.