Here in Massachusetts, we’ve long been lucky to have abundant and safe fresh water. Yet despite this relative wealth of water, 1 in 10 rivers and streams in the Commonwealth runs dry each summer due to a combination of water use and climate. That’s why the water management framework described in the article “A move to save water sources” (Page A1, Nov. 29) is so critical for our future.
Massachusetts is among a handful of state governments leading the nation on managing our water to ensure that we continue to have a supply for generations. State agencies will spend the next year crafting regulations to ensure that our rivers and streams can meet the needs of nature and people — from drinking water and public safety to recreation, energy generation, and habitat for fish.
The Nature Conservancy has worked with Massachusetts policy makers, community leaders, municipal water suppliers, and watershed protection organizations to help develop this framework, which challenges the idea that we have to choose between water for our communities and water for nature. Calculating how much water can safely be removed from a river isn’t easy, but with good science and the involvement of a broad coalition of water users, we can ensure that water is available for people and for fish and wildlife. This framework is a significant step in the right direction.