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March 19, 2013

Local Communities Win Water Conservation Grants

Four Central Massachusetts communities, including Worcester, will receive nearly $375,000 in state money for water conservation, demand management and other projects that will help ease the ecological impacts of water withdrawals.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) announced the awarding of $929,000 in grants for 12 communities. The money will, in part, help support economic development in those communities, Gov. Deval Patrick said.

Worcester will receive $139,500, which will go toward a feasibility study for the removal of the Poor Farm Pond dam.

Other grants in Central Massachusetts are being awarded to:

  • Medway, $99,197 for a feasibility and cost/benefit analysis involved in ecological minimization and mitigation;
  • Hopkinton, $58,989 for storm-water recharge and infiltration planning; and
  • Franklin, $75,000, for well-pumping and recharge strategies to augment for water flow in streams.

The grants are part of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI), an EEA effort to maintain healthy rivers and streams and improve degraded water resources over time.

"Protecting our fresh water supports economic development in our cities and towns and preserves our natural resources for the next generation," Gov. Deval Patrick said.

The SWMI grant program will help water suppliers by providing grants for planning projects for specific watersheds, developing implementation projects to improve ecological conditions and managing projects aimed at reducing the demand for water within a municipality or watershed.

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