Water Needs Limit Growth

<p>Formerly small towns near Boston have experienced high growth rates in recent years. But despite their potential to keep growing, water supplies and aging infrastructure will likely be a limiting factor.</p>
July 11, 2008, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The region is expected to continue attracting more companies, workers, and residents in the coming years. But that growth is also projected to slam up against water-related limits unless supplies are conserved or increased, said officials. The problem is already in sight, some say."

"In the region stretching along I-495 from Littleton to Wrentham, demand on public water systems is expected to rise from 51 million gallons a day in 2005, the latest numbers available, to 62 million in 2030, according to a recent study published by the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Steady growth for the I-495 region is driving demand, the study said."

"Municipal water systems won't be able to keep up if they don't evolve, according to Paul Matthews, executive director of the 495/MetroWest business group. 'Those towns over 20 years ago were either rural or much smaller,' he said. 'Now a lot of them are bumping up against their infrastructure.'"

"Of the 32 towns in the study, nine experienced median water-usage increases of 10 percent over the past decade. Seventeen towns in the study decreased their water usage by a similar percentage, often because they conserved to stay within state limits while handling increased demand. In six towns, figures were unavailable because residents use private wells."

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Published on Thursday, July 10, 2008 in The Boston Globe
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