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Boston, MA

CRWA’S Plan for Future Sustainability

It is highly agreeable that clean water is one of the most important resources on earth. One may even argue that water is in fact the most important resource. Contrary to these conditions however, modern infrastructure was not created to reflect such consideration. Urban sprawl has led to the reduction of green spaces due to the increasing populations. To equalize this situation, the CRWA (Charles River Watershed Association) has developed a plan to promote more sustainable watershed management by green infrastructure implementation. To answer why such an association would do such a thing, we must further identify the problem.
“Many U.S. cities face water-related disasters. Clean water supplies are becoming scarce; flood damage is widespread; water tables are unstable; rivers, lakes, and ponds are polluted; crumbling sewer and drain infrastructure demands repair.”
With New England averaging over 40 inches of water annually, existing aging grey infrastructure is losing the economic battle against nature. There is a cliché statement, “when you can’t beat them, join them.” The CRWA has taken this statement to heart and developed a “suite of tools and an approach to the urban environment that will help create a new kind of place: a Blue City. Bringing together techniques such as Low Impact Development (LID), Green Buildings, Green Infrastructure, Green Corridors, and stormwater management, the Blue Cities approach provides a way to solve problems and build a sustainable urban future.” With an economic and environmental focus on water, the CRWA plans to restore prior natural absorption conditions by modifying the urban watershed so that it mimics the natural watershed. In doing so, sustainable conditions should arise with proper management and implementation.
It is also a known fact that green infrastructure implementation is expensive. The Blue cities project fortunately has many stakeholders supplying financial backing. While the project is still in the planning stage, positive results regarding, cleaner water, reduced pollution, and potentially cheaper water utilities, will increase the quantity of stakeholders making the Blue Cities project even more successful for a sustainable future.
*All direct statements were directly pulled from (Blue Cities Guide: Environmentally Sensitive Urban Development: Produced by Charles River Watershed Association with support from The Boston Foundation & Cabot Family Charitable Trust)

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