Help Protect the Ipswich River from Excessive Withdrawals!

Ipswich River | Photo courtesy of the Ipswich River Watershed Association

The Ipswich River is the main drinking water source for Northeastern Massachusetts, but excessive water withdrawals made worse by climate change are putting both the ecosystem and the region’s water security at risk.

2021 is a pivotal year for improving water security in Massachusetts. Water withdrawal registrations and permits are up for renewal for the first time in two decades. Two severe droughts in the last five years and a global climate crisis have increased the urgency to drastically improve river management. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) must fix how it implements existing laws and improve its regulations to support the river’s health, regional water security and the many communities, businesses and residents who depend on the Ipswich River.

After several decades of inaction, DEP has announced that it will attempt to enact new regulations this year before renewing water withdrawal permits. We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get better rules on the book— rules which will reduce conflict and spur collaboration between towns. State legislators and agency officials need to hear from the public that there is support for effective and balanced water management that ensures enough clean water for communities and protects the river. Without significant stakeholder involvement and public input, there is considerable risk these desperately needed changes will not happen.

Please join us in asking Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to overhaul how they regulate water withdrawals, to protect rivers and account for climate change. The time is now!

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Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Executive Director
Massachusetts Water Resources Commission