, Salem, MA


April 15, 2013

Letter: Protecting our drinking water supply

To the editor:

Why is protecting your drinking water supply important to you specifically — and to all residents of Beverly, Salem and Wenham, whose drinking water is supplied by the Salem and Beverly Water Board?

Because protection, in the form of an updated ordinance (the Water Supply Protection Overlay District) will ensure your basic right to clean, ample drinking water.

On Tuesday, April 16, Beverly’s City Council and Planning Board will hold yet another joint public hearing on this issue. They will then decide whether to approve updated protection for your drinking water supply, which will meet new state and federal requirements and add better protection for the entire watershed.

It is important to note that our drinking water supply has only a certain amount of available water, and our increasing demand on that water has made it a precarious, finite resource. We can no longer take for granted the privilege of a sufficient supply of drinking water. We must pass better protective laws and educate ourselves to live within that limited water budget.

How can you help? Please attend this critical public hearing and voice your opinion for protection of your drinking water supply. The meeting will be held in the City Council chambers in Beverly City Hall, third floor, at 7 p.m.

Safe Drinking Water Alliance has been working for years to protect your drinking water supply. When we learned that the existing drinking water protection ordinance (1987) was seriously outdated, members from several groups, including the Wenham Lake Watershed Association, the North Beverly Environmental Action Committee, lay people and environmental professionals banded together to write an updated Water Supply Protection Overlay District ordinance. With added help and recommendations from Clean Water Action, the Ipswich River Watershed Association and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, we created a solid document that met all new state and federal requirements and presented it to the Beverly City Council for adoption in January 2011.

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