MWRA 2011-2012 Writing Contest Winners

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Tristan Hayes
Grade 9, Wilmington High School, Wilmington
Carol Mutchler, Teacher


I think that the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority has had the greatest impact on the reduction of water usage in Massachusetts over the past few years. Since the 1980s, the MWRA has been using the most water-efficient techniques and technologies to preserve the water in the Quabbin and Wachusett water reservoirs and conserve water used by residents and businesses in Massachusetts.

The MWRA monitors both MWRA-owned and community-owned pipes in Massachusetts to check for any leaks and repair any broken pipes. This prevents water from being lost through cracks or openings that are in the pipes as it travels from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs to towns in Massachusetts. If the MWRA didn't monitor pipes, then large amounts of water would be lost through openings in the broken pipes, and the amount of water lost would keep increasing as pipes are used more and damaged. The MWRA also track and analyze community water usage, which can help them to identify large ruptures or damages in water pipes.

By using newer technology, more water is able to be conserved. Water-efficient technology uses water more efficiently, which means that water is able to be more useful in smaller amounts than before. The MWRA also had a large impact in changing the state plumbing code that required all newly-installed toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, lower than the earlier requirement was. The MWRA also retrofitted over 350,000 Massachusetts homes with low-flow plumbing devices, which help to conserve water used in sewage.

The MWRA created a Water Management Program to help inform businesses, municipal buildings, schools, and nonprofit organizations around Massachusetts on ways to help conserve water and upgrade their water technology to better use the amount of water they have. The program also has extensive amounts of information available to the public through their website, including links about Boston Harbor, water conservation, drinking and sewer water, water education, and the environment.

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