Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Water Transformation Part 6: Configuring Transformation II

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

3/10/15 1:28 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 5 - Configuring Transformation I


Stream Daylighting - Charles River Watershed Association
Daylighted Saw Mill River, Yonkers, NY
Photo by Zach Youngerman

In my last post, I introduced the concept of distributed wastewater treatment as an important tool for getting distributed energy generation and water reclamation, and increased resilience, while Restoring Nature. Building on the concept, we at Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) have been looking at collecting wastewater, treating it, and infiltrating it into the ground near each of the treatment plants. Most distributed wastewater treatment plant conceptualizations I’ve seen would send reclaimed water once reused back to the piped sewage system it was originally collected from. If we were to do that, though we would capture the energy and reclaimed water, we would miss a significant environmental opportunity.


3 Ways CRWA is Preparing the Charles River for Climate Change

Posted by Kate Bowditch

5/22/14 2:00 PM

Natural-Valley-Storage-AreaOn Tuesday, May 6, 2014, the White House released a new report, the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, as part of President Obama’s second-term objective to demand immediate action on climate change, and prepare the nation for rising temperatures and increased cataclysmic storms. According to the report, the impacts of climate change in the Northeast will culminate in “heat waves, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge” (Third U.S. National Climate Assessment, 2014).

The topic of climate change has received significant press following the release of the report, including articles in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.

Most New Englanders over the age of 20 can tell that climate change is already happening here, even given the region’s notoriously variable weather. Compared to what was “normal” 20 years ago, spring now arrives earlier, we get less snow in winter, and average temperatures, especially at night, are warmer in all seasons. These trends stand out, even when historic variability is accounted for. Scientific models and predictions indicate that we have significantly more change ahead of us, and we will need to adapt to a different climate in the future, even if we do reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and try to mitigate climate change impacts.

A changing climate will of course have major implications for Boston as a coastal city. For the Charles River, there are obvious impacts we will need to prepare for. Here are three of the most important:


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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.