History of System Expansion
Here you will find a brief video overview of the history of the MWRA’s waterworks system and a more detailed discussion and updates on activities below.
History of System Expansion
- MWRA waterworks system consumption has continually dropped from 343 million gallons/day (MGD) in 1980 to 204 MGD in 2010 due to systemwide conservation efforts, changes in the plumbing code, and local system improvements.
- MWRA has opportunity to be a good environmental neighbor for its surrounding stressed basins as well as expanding the rate base of the waterworks system through a streamlined system expansion policy.
- In 2010, a facilitated discussion with major stakeholders began outlining potential avenues for a streamlined system expansion process.
- The Advisory Board and MWRA Board of Directors continue to push for a streamlined system expansion process, and consider this a major, ongoing initiative for staff to pursue.
- Water Admission
- Policy Summary
Outstanding issues with System
- Current approval process can be duplicative and time-consuming for potential new waterworks customers.
- Developing an updated entrance fee policy that is flexible for new waterworks customers, but acknowledges the previous investments made by existing waterworks customers.
- Alleviating other stakeholder concerns within the framework of maintaining the MWRA’s core mission.
Permanent Connections To The MWRA Water System Since 2002
|Approved Permanent Connections to MWRA Water System Since 2002|
|Applicant(location)||Applicable Policy||Approval Date||MWRA Approved withdrawal (mgd on an annualized basis)||Withdrawal from MWRA in 2010 (mgd)|
|Wilmington||OP#10New Community||5/09||0.6 mgd||0.490 mgd|
|Reading||OP#10New Community||11/05 (partial)10/07 (full)||2.1 mgd||1.758 mgd|
|YMCA (Salem/Marblehead)||OP#09“Straddle Policy”||11/06||0.0127 mgd||0.009 mgd|
|Dedham/Westwood Water District||OP#10New Community||12/05||0.1 mgd||0.047 mgd|
|Avalon Danvers/Peabody||OP#09“Straddle Policy”||5/03||0.012 mgd||0.007 mgd|
|Stoughton||OP#10New Community||6/02||1.15 mgd||0.623 mgd|
”Goal: To provide MWRA water to new communities/entities in need of high quality water while offsetting cost for existing MWRA water system customers.”
FY 2016 Q2 Goals:
- Present and vote a policy for Direct Source Water rate to Operations Committee, Executive Committee, and full Advisory Board.
- Begin staff-to-staff discussions on Water Capacity Insurance methodology.
- Continue working with North Reading, Ashland, and SouthField on their efforts to join the MWRA water system.
FY 2016 Activity
- Executive Committee/Advisory Board voted approval of providing SouthField with MWRA water conditional upon all regulatory requirements.
- Agreed to present/answer questions about joining MWRA water system. at October North Reading’s Town Meeting
- Met with representatives of Reading and North Reading regarding receiving MWRA water.
- One staff-to-staff meeting to discuss information gathered to determine next steps for Direct Source water rate.
- Met with representatives of SouthField to discuss joining MWRA water system.
- Two staff-to-staff meetings to discuss parameters and information needed for Direct Source water rate calculation.
- Staff presented to the Board of Directors on various options to generate revenue for the water system, including creating a rate methodology for untreated or “Direct Source” water, and developing a Water Capacity Insurance program for non-member communities to provide MWRA water as a backup water supply.
- Worked with Ashland and Hingham to discuss next steps on joining the system.
- Approved Dedham/Westwood increased withdrawal amount.
- Met with North Reading.
- Voted to increase Dedham-Westwood Water District contract
- Met with Tri-Town and Secretary of Environmental Affairs Maeve Bartlett to review status of negotiations.
- MWRA Board of Directors voted to accept Advisory Board recommendations on entrance fees.
- Ashland Town Meeting failed to receive two-thirds majority to purchase MWRA water.
- Infrastructure Bill provides authorization for 50/50 match for entrance fees and principal-forgiveness for connection costs.
- Reaffirmed requirement for entrance fees.“
- May Green Sheet provides a history of the MWRA Waterworks System and explains Entrance Fee methodology.
- Voted emergency water connection for Ashland
- Voted emergency water connection for Hudson.
- Revisited entrance fees and developed new methodology.
Comments and Recommendations History
FY 2016 (printed June 2015)
- The Advisory Board recommends that the Authority convene a working group to develop an appropriate rate structure for Direct Source Water. Further that the recommendation of the working group be brought to the Operations Committee and full Advisory Board for a vote as a new admission policy for the MWRA. (Page 100; #28)
- The Advisory Board recommends that a working group be convened to discuss a methodology for structuring Water Capacity Insurance to be offered to non-member communities, including members of the Advisory Board, as well as staff from both MWRA and the Advisory Board. Further, that the recommendation of this working group be brought to the Operations Committee and full Advisory Board for a vote as a new admission policy for the MWRA. (Page 101; #29)
FY 2015 (printed May 2014)
- The Advisory Board recommends that the sunset provision on its proposed entrance fee payment schedule be extended one full year to June 30, 2015. (Page 86; #25)
FY 2013 (printed May 2012)
- That the MWRA participate with the Advisory Board on a formal study to quantify the local and regional economic benefits of system expansion. (Page 61; #23)
- Support legislation the Advisory Board intends to file seeking $100 million in state funds for the purposes of economic development to fund capital connection costs for new water service member communities. (Page 61; #24)
- Actively seek and pursue an exemption of 9 MGD from the regulatory review process to expedite waterworks system expansion. (Page 61; #25)
FY 2013 (March 2012 Advisory Board meeting vote)
- Recommend changing entrance fee repayment options to include:
- 25-year interest-free repayment period
- 3-year grace period
FY 2012 (printed May 2011)
- Explore financial incentives to attract new member communities to the waterworks system including, but not limited to:
- Offering a 5-year grace period before payment
- Allowing a multi-year payment plan
- Waiving interest on said payment plan. (Page 70; #15)
FY 2011 (printed May 2010)
- Given the continuing trend for declining water use in the MWRA system since the most recent study was conducted, the Advisory Board recommends an updated evaluation of the safe yield for the tripartite capacity (withdrawals/releases/reserves). (Page 79; #14)
- Rename the entrance fee as the FAIR – Former Asset Investment Recovery – cost or charge to join the MWRA to focus the discussion around the true purpose of the entrance fee. (Page 80; #15)
- Do not fund the Hatchery Pipeline project until the first FAIR charge under the new streamlined system expansion process is received. (Page 80; #16)
FY 2010 (printed May 2009)
- The Authority estimates that every 1 million gallons per day sold to a new customer is estimated to yield $5.0 million in one-time entrance fee revenue. The Advisory Board will continue to press for a streamlining of the system expansion process, and continues to endorse the Authority’s efforts in this regard. (Page 51 – 52)