MWRA 2011-2012 Writing Contest Winners

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Joe Sweeney
Grade 12, Boston Latin Academy, Boston
Katherine Fogarty, Teacher


With an increasing population in Massachusetts, one would think that the water usage would skyrocket. However, that is not the case. In fact, waterusage in Massachusetts has vastly decreased. The reason for the decrease in water usage is due to the result of a combination of efforts between the state and the citizens. When Massachusetts needed to find ways to reduce its water usage in order to not exceed the safe yield, the people of Massachusetts stepped up and answered the call.

The state realized that it needed to do something about the flow of water. In order to make sure that the citizens weren't wasting water, the state first had to make sure that the flow of water from reservoirs to households was efficient and effective. The state realized that the pipes carried hundreds of thousands, if not millions of gallons of water a day. Even the tiniest cracks or leaks in these pipes could lead to thousands of gallons being released and contaminated. The state government put extensive effort into replacing defective pipes and made sure leak detection was put into place. Making sure the people had a steady supply of water was the first step in conserving water.

The second steps in reducing water usage were the actions taken by the citizens of Massachusetts. People realized that water is not only an essential, but valuable commodity. The increased awareness at the state level trickled down into the homes of thousands. People began doing whatever they could to conserve water. They began to take shorter showers, buy low water usage appliances and shut off the faucet while brushing their teeth. It was the little actions by a large amount of people which helped save millions of gallons. I guess the saying "a little goes a long way" is pretty valid.

There was no one thing that led to the drastic reduction in water usage of the years. A total team effort between the state government and its constituents led to Massachusetts reducing its water usage and not exceeding the safe yield. Through the awareness of the citizens, people everyday are looking for ways to use less and less water. Even if the population increases, Massachusetts can still be pretty confident in seeing some reduction in water usage to continue for years to come.

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