agendas, summaries
& directions
agendas & summaries
documents of note
Lexi Dewey, Executive Director
Whitney Beals, Chairperson

WSCAC, 485 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Phone: (413) 213-0454
Fax: (413) 213-0537

WSCAC Newlsetter

Paul Lauenstein's Video on MWRA Tour of Boston Harbor, Spectacle Island and Deer Island on 08/18/11 (on YouTube)

WIFC Final Report


WSCAC Statement on MWRA Water Quality and the DCR Division of Water Supply Protection’s (DWSP) Forest Management Program
February 29, 2012 (pdf)

Views of the WSCAC Executive Committee - Comments by Mr. Paul Lauenstein
November, 2008 (pdf)

WSCAC Expansion Policy (pdf)

WSCAC publications do not necessarily reflect MWRA policy or the opinions of MWRA staff.



Fiscal Year 2015 Proposed Capital Expense Budget and Current Expense Budget
Kathy Soni,
MWRA  Budget Director
April 8, 2014



MWRA Water System Expansion - March 11, 2009 (pdf)

Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee Contract
June 6, 2012 (pdf)


Water Supply Citizens Advisory Committee
to the MWRA (WSCAC)

Whitney Beals, WSCAC Chair, New England Forestry Foundation
Andrea Donlon, Connecticut River Watershed Council
Gerald Eves, Trout Unlimited
Bill Fadden, OARs and SuAsCo Wild & Scenic Rivers
Paul Lauenstein, NepRWA (Neponset River Watershed Association)
Michael Baram, BU (Boston University Law School) & CFL (Conservation Law Foundation)
Martha Morgan, Nashua River Watershed Association
Dona Motts, Massachusetts League of Women Voters
Martin Pillsbury, MAPC (Metropolitan Area Planning Council)
Elie Saroufim, Boston Water & Sewer Commission

Government-Supported Public Participation

Originally formed in 1977 to review a proposed diversion of the Connecticut River for water supply to the metropolitan Boston area, WSCAC represents an unusual approach for engaging citizen participation in water resource policy decisions.

WSCAC conducts independent research and members organize into task forces devoted to more intensive study of particular issues. WSCAC has also developed its own public information materials and a network of volunteer expert consultants. The committee meets monthly in locations around the state.

WSCAC advises the MWRA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation on water conservation and watershed protection strategies. The MWRA has implemented leak repair and demand management programs, avoiding the need for river diversion.

WSCAC's current focus is water quality - source protection and management of the watersheds, reservoirs and distribution system.

WSCAC worked with the New England Safe Drinking Water Task Force on the Safe Drinking Water Act reauthorization. WSCAC helped secure passage of state legislation - the Interbasin Transfer Act of 1983, the Water Management Act of 1985, and the Watershed Protection Act of 1992. State officials have tapped WSCAC for other statewide advisory groups. WSCAC members regard the following as the most important lessons learned:

  • Active citizen participation is a good investment, ensuring publicly supportable, cost effective and environmentally sound solutions.
  • Informed citizen input on major policy decisions requires an independent, full-time staff answerable only to the citizens' committee.
  • To gain credibility, citizen input that includes diverse point of view must be sought.
  • Effective citizen input entails responsibilities for both the citizens' committee and the affected agencies. The citizens' committee must engage in pertinent, factual and thoughtful criticism of the agency, and agency officials must respond receptively and professionally to input
  • Citizen committees need to communicate with the public as well as with the agencies they advise.

WSCAC's diverse membership is balanced geographically and by interest, representing source watershed communities, watershed associations, water utilities, environmental groups, business, water users, and other interested parties.

WSCAC provides an ongoing source of public input for the MWRA and state agencies. The MWRA supports WSCAC with funding for office space, expenses, and a staff selected by and answerable to the committee.

The MWRA has achieved notable success in water conservation, and protecting supplies in an urban state presents challenges. WSCAC looks toward a continuing active role in the management of New England's largest water system.

Updated July 9, 2014