The Town of Scituate was awarded $115,250 from the Water Management Act (WMA) Grant Program, an effort by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that is intended to help communities with water conservation, source and demand management, and other water withdrawal planning and mitigation projects. Eight other communities in the Commonwealth were awarded these SWMI (Sustainable Water Management Initiative) grants in early January.

Scituate’s project focuses on improvements to the Reservoir Dam off Route 3A that will enable the Town to have approximately an additional month of water supply storage while also improving herring passage into the 80 acres of habitat in the Reservoir.  This would be accomplished by raising the Reservoir level by 1.5 feet and lowering the fish ladder exit by 3.9 feet.  Previous SWMI grants awarded to the Town in 2013 and 2014 provided a feasibility analysis and modeling of different dam modifications to arrive at the aforementioned scenario. This phase of the project will focus on design and permitting of the modifications, including town and state permitting and design of the modifications to the 60% level, as well as an update of  water demand modeling and town water use profiles to include data from the past few years, and public meetings to present the project work. Scituate will be working in partnership with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and Massachusetts Bays Program to complete the work this spring.

The town of Scituate has been an active partner for over a decade with the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, Massachusetts Bays Program, and the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration to restore more natural streamflow, herring passage to the First Herring Brook and to conserve its drinking water resources. This grant is the next step in the process to help meet those goals.

For more information on the First Herring Brook Restoration Project click here.