Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.


On the River Today
Mini Current on the River Today

Action alert: Ask MassDEP to protect our rivers, streams, and water supplies 

Ipswich River

Join Charles River Watershed Association and other watershed groups on Tuesday, September 12th to urge the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to require ALL water suppliers in Massachusetts to use reasonable water conservation practices.

Under current rules, "registered" water suppliers (generally water suppliers withdrawing greater than 100,000 gallons per day that were established before the state passed the Water Management Act in the 1980s) are not held to the same conservation standards as permitted water suppliers (those regulated under the Water Management Act). In addition to being bad for the environment, this policy is fundamentally unfair, as it divides water users into two classes—those who must comply with sensible conservation permit conditions and those who are exempt. Tuesday's meeting is being held in response to a petition filed by the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, of which CRWA is a member, asking MassDEP to promulgate regulations which will even the playing field across the state by asking all water suppliers and residents to share the responsibility for protecting our common water resources.

We are anticipating a very large turnout from water suppliers opposing this change at the public meeting and we would like to fill the room with as many advocates as possible so that we can show that there is a strong constituency for careful water stewardshipThe meeting will take place at 100 Cambridge Street, 2nd Floor, Conference Rooms B, C and D, Boston, MA 02114, at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. If you would like to vocalize your support of equitably balancing water use and stream protection, you will have the opportunity to speak at the meeting. If you plan to attend, please email Julie Wood, CRWA's Director of Projects to let her know and for a list of talking points. 

Our changing climate, it’s time to act!


As Houston continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma batters the Caribbean and heads toward Florida, and Mexico prepares for Hurricane Katia, our thoughts go out to all those effected by these devastating stormsAs the Boston Globe reports, global climate change is increasing the likelihood and frequency of powerful hurricanes and other storms. The northeast has already experienced a 71% increase between 1958 and 2012 in the amount of rain that falls in very intense storms. 

How would Boston fare if drenched with similar rainfall to that which Harvey dumped on Houston? As Mayor Marty Walsh put it in an article in the Boston Globe, "If we got hit with a storm like this, if Harvey hit Boston Harbor, we’re wiped out as a city.” Although rainfall amounts akin to Harvey are extremely unlikely in our region, it is still time to prepare and adapt to living in a changing climate.

At CRWA we have been thinking about and working on climate adaptation for many years. Preparing and adapting proactively will save money while protecting our infrastructure, the environment, and human life. CRWA’s approach is to identify, prioritize and design nature-based solutions that will make Boston, and our entire watershed, resilient to stronger rain storms and rising temperatures. Nature has many lessons to teach us about managing water. For example, flood plains, wetlands, and aquifers are all natural systems that can accommodate both floods and drought. The flexibility of natural systems allows them to accommodate large storms while also improving air quality, reducing urban heat island impacts, and enhancing urban neighborhoods. Green infrastructure—in contrast to traditional "gray" infrastructure—uses natural elements such as plants and soil which allow stormwater to filter into the ground instead of flooding rivers or streets.

CRWA's Blue Cities Initiative helps communities use green infrastructure to better control flooding, manage stormwater, and reduce water pollution. In our recent publication,Transformation: Water Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future, CRWA proposes restoring historical streams and wetland areas where rainwater runoff can be directed and stored after large rain events to protect surrounding homes and businesses. CRWA's innovative Blue Cities demonstration and design projects provide a blueprint for a sustainable alternative.  


LEARN MORE: CRWA’s Blue Cities Initiative

Charles River Watershed Association's mission is to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. For more information about CRWA and our current programs, please visit