The Taunton River Watershed Management Plan was designed to assist the communities, organizations, and individuals throughout the Taunton River watershed to evaluate the current conditions in the watershed, develop a watershed model reflecting inputs and withdrawals in the basin, understand options and tools for managing the human impacts on the vital water resources within the watershed, and implement appropriate tools at the local level
The Watershed Management Plan evaluated existing conditions, and developed tools and recommendations for protecting and restoring the Taunton River watershed in order to accommodate future growth and future needs for drinking water, wastewater management, and storm water management. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provided funding for the development of the study, which was developed by the Horsley Witten Group, Inc. under contract to Bridgewater State University, with direction provided by the Taunton River Watershed Steering Committee. This Committee is comprised of the following agencies and organizations:
- Bridgewater State University,
- The Nature Conservancy,
- Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Reservation,
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection,
- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs,
- Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, and
- Old Colony Planning Council.
Horsley Witten and the Steering Committee conceived of the watershed planning and management process in three phases – the first two as part of the Taunton River Watershed Management Plan Project and the third as a broader and long-term effort.
- Phase I – data collection, initial watershed assessment, long-term visioning and scoping for subsequent phases;
- Phase II – design of six targeted pilot projects to highlight and demonstrate specific management measures, assistance with two code reform projects, continued public outreach and workshops, and development of management recommendations; and
- Phase III – construction and monitoring of demonstration projects, widespread implementation of management measures and plan adaptations, as necessary, to reflect changing conditions and evolving regulatory policies.