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Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Good News for Renewable Energy

Posted by Nishaila Porter

8/24/16 12:21 PM

Energy bill signed into law
Barrow Offshore wind turbines

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, England.
Source: Andy Dingley, edit Muhammad | CC BY-SA 3.0


On August 8th, Governor Baker signed into law “An Act to Promote Energy Diversity.” While not perfect, the law moves Massachusetts in the right direction by supporting renewable energy.  It will allow Massachusetts to diversify its energy supply and to meet Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction mandates imposed under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The GWSA calls for all sectors to reduce GHG emissions by 25% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. By facilitating the production of hydroelectric and offshore wind power, the energy law will help the Commonwealth comply with these mandates. The offshore wind power will be the nation’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm. These power sources will further advance renewable and clean power technology in Massachusetts. 

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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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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.


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Water Transformation Part 5: Configuring Transformation I

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

3/2/15 5:14 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 4 - Nature's Principles

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Water Transformation Part 4: Nature’s Principles

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

2/23/15 12:52 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 3: Diversity

Nutirent Cycle - Charles River Watershed Association
Forest nutrient and water cycle (expand image)
No problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.

-Albert Einstein


In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series, I highlighted four principles that CRWA has taken from our examination of forests as water systems. They are:


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Water Transformation Part 3: Diversity

Posted by Robert Zimmerman

2/16/15 5:55 PM

PREVIOUS POST: Water Transformation Part 2 - Wasteful and Inflexible  

Water Transformation Part 3: Diversity - Charles River Watershed AssociationIn Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I contrasted forests as water systems to our engineered water systems. I identified three important fundamental differences in the way forests deal with water when compared with the way we engineer water:

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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.