Upcoming stormwater conference in Portsmouth, NH read more
A lot has changed since CSOs in the MWRA wastewater system released 3.3 billion gallons into surface water in 1988. Learn more about the long term control plan, as well as next steps for monitoring its success, in our Just The FAQs overview. read more
There is no better way to ring in the New Year than by reviewing the water and sewer rates from this year. The 2017 Advisory Board Water and Sewer Retail Rate Survey is here! The 2017 document highlights a 2.2% increase from the prior year for the average annual cost of water and sewer services for a household in the MWRA service area at the industry standard usage of 120 HCF (90,000 gallons); the average cost in 2017 being $1,558.47.
You’ll notice some new additions to the document this year. The 2017 survey features an additional 60 pages dedicated to the long-term rate trends of the MWRA communities. In addition to the detailed 2017 information regularly found in the survey, ratepayers can now see how rates have evolved in their communities over the past couple of decades.
The rate survey data is no longer limited to the annual document either. Be sure to also check out the Retail Rate Calculator on the Advisory Board website as well. Here, ratepayers can estimate household water and sewer costs for MWRA communities at any level of water usage.
Be on the lookout for a thumb drive with a copy of this survey in the mail very soon.
This September 2017 edition of News and Notes highlights the Advisory Board’s brand new online retail rate calculator. The interactive online design allows the user to more directly compare rates between communities, as well as estimate rates in any water usage sc read more
Editorial by Executive Director Joe Favaloro
Following months of escalating rhetoric on both sides, it’s time to take a step back and assess what we need to do to move forward. If there is ever going to be a resolution to the off-trail activity debate, there needs to be a better understanding – on all sides – of all the impacts.
With this in mind, I strongly believe that any review of the Ware River Watershed public access plan must be preceded by a comprehensive study. The research, conducted by an independent third party, should investigate the issues in question: the impacts of unauthorized trail construction and off-trail activities.
The study should explore how these factors affect the core mission of DCR’s Division of Watershed Supply Protection and Office of Watershed Management, as well as how watershed stakeholders may be impacted, from all trail users, to MWRA customers, and even Ware River communities.
The study must look at the potential technical impacts, including water quality, forest management, and endangered species habitat.
Beyond the technical components, the study should dive into community impacts. What would be the enforcement and cost implications of changes to the access plan?
The study should also establish the context for this debate by examining the history of watershed development: how recreational uses were allowed, the court decision permitting the filtration waiver, and the regulatory and management impacts of this decision.
Finally, we see it as wise to “go beyond” our system and review how other filtered or unfiltered systems manage recreational activities.
This is just a rough outline. Once the study is completed, then an informed determination on the next steps could be made.
I would recommend to the MWRA that they share in the cost of this study with the State. I would further recommend that a representative of recreational activities have a seat on the working committee, along with DWSP, EOEEA, MWRA, and the Advisory Board. Together, their responsibility would be to flesh out the scope of the study and to evaluate the proposals, perhaps with varying perspectives, but equipped with the same facts. In return, I expect the public access rules to be respected and obeyed by all recreational users in the meanwhile.
Again, I stress that my job is to represent the interests of MWRA communities, and this means protecting our watersheds, ensuring our filtration waiver, and providing high quality drinking water to 2.5 million residents of Greater Boston.
I fully recognize that this issue is not limited to the most vocal debaters so far, but rather, affects many. In that spirit, the study ensures the most responsible path moving forward by providing all parties – myself included – with the knowledge to make the most educated decision possible. The stakes are enormous and allowing some fact-finding is the right next step.
This March 2017 edition of News and Notes describes Phase III of the Local Water System Assistance Program, which helps communities with 0% interest loans to make improvements to their local systems. read more