This website is about the living waters we cherish and enjoy every day. It is also about the many forms of water we experience in our lives. And it is about keeping those waters safe, healthy and attractive assets for cities and towns across Massachusetts.
We rarely pause to consider that most water we see is alive. An amazing complexity of life creates the common aquatic ecosystems that contribute so richly to the health of water supplies, lakes, ponds, brooks and rivers.
Our communities celebrate and esteem the many beneficial uses of water for bathing, drinking, swimming, boating, fishing, beverages, industry, and a host of other essential purposes.
A home without water is untenable. A stream without water is lifeless. We share water resources with a myriad of creatures, and what we do with water greatly affects the quality and health of our neighborhoods, our cities and towns, our government, our society.
Nearly all life relies on the water cycle – water vapor is released into the air by plants and sunlight, then condenses into clouds, and when too heavy for the air to suspend, rain and snow return the water to the land. Through perpetual renewal, water is cleansed and collected in waterways that flow ever downward to the vast oceans that teem with life.
The life we find in streams and ponds is both resilient and fragile. Aquatic ecosystems withstand the rigors of freezing winters, hot summers, droughts, rampaging floods, and other natural events. Fishes, insects, frogs, and other biota have adapted to the stresses of normal variations in weather patterns. But community uses and misuses of water can add severe stresses to the natural variations. Our rivers and lakes and water supplies are often damaged as a result.
The protection of our waters and prevention of problems is the best means to ensure that we, our children and their children will continue to enjoy sparkling blue waters.