Governor Charlie Baker appointed NSRWA’s Executive Director Samantha Woods to sit on the state’s Water Resources Commission, which sits within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The Water Resources Commission was established in 1956 by the Massachusetts Legislature and is responsible for developing, coordinating, and overseeing the Commonwealth’s water policy and planning activities to ensure that Massachusetts will have plentiful water to support health, safety, economic development, and ecological vitality for generations to come.
The twelve-seat Commission includes appointees from seven state agencies and five public members. Samantha will hold one of the 5 public member seats and be the voice on the commission for the recreational use and ecological health of our waters. Samantha has previously sat on two other statewide water policy committees – one that established regulations governing desalination plants and more recently a committee that drafted the recent updates to the state’s water conservation standards that were then approved by the state’s Water Resource Commission.
The Water Resource Commission serves the Commonwealth by creating policies that protect our water for practical and recreational uses. They do this through:
- Development of new water resource policies for the state, including technical documents supporting such policies;
- Implementation of the Interbasin Transfer Act (ITA), including the review and approval of transfers of water or wastewater between any of the Commonwealth’s 28 river basins (including the Massachusetts Coastal Basin) under the Interbasin Transfer Act.
The Water Resources Commission staff monitors water conditions for drought, supports groundwater and stream gage monitoring in partnership with the USGS, and establishes 15-20 year water supply needs forecasts for towns and sets statewide goals for water efficiency.
When asked about this new appointment Samantha said “It is vitally important that the public’s interest be represented during decisions for the allocation and use of our most precious natural resource –water. Ensuring that the recreational uses and ecological health of our waterways are considered and prioritized only happens if there is a voice at the table for it. I am very honored to have been chosen to be that voice.”