Abstract: The Massachusetts Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) is
a policy framework intended to prevent further degradation of fluvial environments while
balancing societal needs for water. The policy has faced criticism from both
environmentalists and municipal water suppliers questioning the fairness and effectiveness
of the policy. The question addressed by this thesis is wheth... read moreer the SWMI framework can
reasonably be expected to accomplish its stated goals. This thesis answers the question in
two parts. Part I is a policy evaluation that will summarize the stakeholder critiques and
place SWMI in the broader context of modern water management strategies. The research is
based on an examination of the literature as well as interviews with policy and stakeholder
experts. Part II evaluates the SWMI policy quantitatively. Multivariate regression is used
to estimate streamflow depletion by groundwater wells in Beaver Brook, and Billings Brook,
in Sharon, MA, and evaluate the potential benefits of SWMI mitigation options. This thesis
concludes that SWMI meets the standards set by peer state water management policies and can
reasonably be expected to meet its stated goals. The thesis also concludes that
multivariate regression is an effective method for estimating streamflow depletion, and is
more cost effective and versatile than conventional analytical streamflow depletion
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and
Advisor: Scott Horsley.
Committee: Robert Russell, and Brian Thomas.
Keywords: Water resources management, Hydrologic sciences, and Environmental