Water Quantity and Why it Matters for Massachusetts Rivers
Maintaining sufficient water levels in our rivers and streams to support natural species, habitat, public supply, and river recreation is an important goal for the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and its members. Surface and groundwater withdrawals, as well as other competing demands of our water resources, contribute to the amount of water left in-stream to support aquatic ecosystems. It's an ongoing challenge for the state to balance human demands while also providing adequate streamflow for wildlife and habitat. Natural streamflow is threatened by development, particularly in Eastern Massachusetts where a growing population has increasing water demands, leading to degraded fisheries and wetlands, limits water-based recreation, and compromises water supplies.
More than 60 communities in Massachusetts rely on water supplies from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs (supplied by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority). For other Massachusetts residents on public or private water systems, water comes from groundwater wells that draw on storage in underlying aquifers or surface water supplies (reservoirs, lakes, or rivers). For more information, please see the 'State' section below. To see how water is bought, sold, and moved across the state between public water suppliers and the MWRA, check out our interactive GIS map!
Use the barrier in the middle to swipe between maps!
Check out the map legend for more information.
Map created by John Doolin.