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Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Robert Zimmerman

Bob joined CRWA as Executive Director in December 1990. Under his direction, CRWA has initiated groundbreaking ecosystem analyses and land-planning studies, helped reform land and water regulation, developed restorative technologies, and won major battles to restore and protect the Charles and its parklands. He received the International Riverprize on behalf of the Charles and CRWA in 2011. A long-time member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission and MassDEP Fees and Programs Advisory Committee, he also serves on the Board of River Network, and is a past Board chair of EarthShare New England and former Board member of EarthShare of America. Bob served two terms as an elected member of the Town of Littleton Board of Health. He lectures widely and teaches on water sustainability and transforming traditional water infrastructure to restorative and sustainable systems.
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Recent Posts

Collaboration Toward a Greener Future

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

7/12/16 6:00 AM

By Charles River Watershed Association and Conservation Law Foundation

Since 1949, the Kendall Cogeneration Station, located near Longfellow Bridge and now owned by Veolia, had been withdrawing 77 million gallons of Charles River water to cool its three turbines. Called “once-through” cooling, the water was pumped through a piping network and used to convert the steam that had already given up most of it’s energy to making electricity back to liquid water.  This cooling water did not contact the steam but absorbed heat that was then discharged back to the Charles River from 10-20 degrees warmer than when withdrawn. The daily volume used ( 77 million gallons) is often greater than the flow of the Charles in summer. Since the ambient surface temperature of the Charles can reach 85 degrees in the summer, the added heat upsets the river ecosystem, contributes to algal blooms, and has contributed to fish kills.

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Water Transformation Part 14: Reality Assessment

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

1/26/16 1:02 PM


PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 13 - Blue Cities Exchange

Charles River Watershed Association’s vision for transforming our urban landscape, the work I have discussed in this blog series, recently received some coverage in the local media, first with an article in the Boston Globe, and later the same day on Radio Boston. These pieces begin to scratch the surface by introducing the basic concepts. Given the recent media attention, I would like to respond to a few elements of the coverage and ensuing discussion, clear up some misconceptions, and give a direct report on where we are now.

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Water Transformation Part 13: Blue Cities Exchange

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

8/6/15 10:34 AM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 12 - Paying for Green Infrastructure  and Restored Streams

In Part 12, I introduced one of the tools CRWA has been developing to help drive down costs for the installation of blue/green infrastructure, while potentially providing income to help restore streams and rivers. This tool is an interactive website called Blue Cities Exchange.

 

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Water Transformation: A Brief Pause

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

6/29/15 11:37 AM

 

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Water Transformation Part 12: Paying for Green Infrastructure and Restored Streams

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

5/27/15 8:30 AM

 

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 11 - Thoughts About Finances and  Economics

 

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Water Transformation Part 11: Thoughts About Finances and Economics

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

5/7/15 4:15 PM


PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 10 - The Benefits

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Water Transformation Part 10: The Benefits

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

4/15/15 1:01 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 9 - Restored Streams and Green  Infrastructure

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Water Transformation Part 9: Restored Streams and Green Infrastructure

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

4/6/15 4:51 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 8 - Distributed Wastewater Treatment  Plants

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Water Transformation Part 8: Distributed Wastewater Treatment Plants

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

3/30/15 1:30 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 7 - Beginning the How

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Water Transformation Part 7: Beginning the How

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

3/20/15 3:20 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 6: Configuring Transformation II  


Back Bay Charles River - Charles River Watershed AssociationCRWA began what we call our Urban Smart Sewer project in the fall of 2013 with a three year grant from the Scherman Foundation's Rosin Fund, and support from Eaglemere Foundation. Our first orders of business were to discover whether the distributed wastewater treatment plants we had investigated with our Littleton, MA, Smart Sewer project could be sited in dense urban confines. To help us, we put together a technical advisory committee (TAC) made up of principals from federal, state, and Boston agencies.

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About Charles River Watershed Association:

One of the country's oldest watershed organizations, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last fifty years have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management.