Neponset River Watershed Regional Climate Project

NepRWA is working with your communities to find solutions to extreme weather in the Neponset Watershed.

NepRWA has partnered with the Town of Dedham, the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, Weston & Sampson Engineering, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and 9 Watershed communities to conduct develop a computer model of current and future flood risks in the region.

Additionally, the project team is helping communities in the Watershed work together to become more resilient to climate change. A key goal is to make it easier for residents to get involved and advocate for their top concerns to be effectively addressed.

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Update June 12, 2024

A virtual public meeting was held on June 11th to discuss the flood model, which has been updated over the course of the last year. You may view a recording of the meeting here:

You may view and download the slide deck by clicking here.

Additionally, on June 6th, the Flood Model Steering Committee met to discuss the results of the modeling. You may view a recording of the meeting here:

Update April 18, 2024

Phase 2 of the Resilient Neponset project is well underway! The Project Team held its Technical Assistance workshop on municipal green infrastructure projects on April 17th. You may view the presentation slides here, or view a recording of the presentations here.

Additionally, the Project Team held its first Resilient Neponset Flood Model Steering Committee Meeting on April 11th. View the recording of the meeting here:

Update June 30, 2023 —

Phase 1 of the Neponset River Watershed Climate Project is complete! Over the 9-month project, your communities have significantly advanced climate resilience planning efforts, including:

  • The creation of a Regional Flood Model that includes a more detailed model for Dedham’s Manor Neighborhood
    • The Flood Model Viewer demonstrates different flooding scenarios based on future climate projections of increased precipitation. It also demonstrates how potential strategies to reduce flooding may work when implemented on a watershed-wide scale.
    • The Story Map walks users through the flood model development process.
    • The Neponset River Watershed Regional Adaptation Strategy and Flood Model Phase 1 Summary Report summarizes the flood model development process. Read report.
  • Development of a Regional Climate Adaptation Collaborative Framework – This document, developed with municipal partners, provides a road map for prioritizing and implementing regional climate adaptation projects that will help build resiliency across the watershed. The ultimate goal, which will be pursued in Phase 2 of the project, is a formal collaborative that shares resources, expertise, and experience to improve local and regional climate resiliency to flooding, extreme storms, heat, drought, and wildfires. The Framework also describes community engagement activities throughout the project.

Read the Neponset River Watershed Regional Collaborative on Climate Resilience proposed framework.

Thanks to all those who participated in the project. Your communities could not have done it without you!

For more information please contact Kerry Snyder, Managing Director for Community Resilience, at snyder@neponset.org or 781-575-0354 ext. 300.

Next Steps

The Project Team has applied for additional MVP funding to begin Phase 2 of the project. The plan is to continue to build on the successes of Phase 1 and would include:

  • Enhancing the Watershed-scale flood model to incorporate additional information about existing infrastructure, and identify high-risk sub-watersheds (including those with critical municipal or regional infrastructure).
  • Facilitating the creation of a governing body for a Neponset Region Climate Resilience Collaborative to enhance community capacity to advance climate resilience projects.
  • Facilitating the creation of a community advisory group, made up of residents and community organizations from across the Watershed, especially those representing communities disproportionately affected by climate change, and to help guide and prioritize climate adaption projects.
  • Providing public education about expected climate impacts and resilience-building opportunities.

Suggest a group

Know of a community group or organization we should reach out to directly? We are especially interested in connecting with groups and individuals who are less likely to participate in town affairs. Churches, business groups, youth groups, seniors – we need your suggestions for who should be involved! Let us know with an email to Kerry Snyder, at snyder@neponset.org

Videos

Click here to see a playlist of all Neponset River Watershed Climate Project videos.

Project Background Information

The Town of Dedham is working with 11 other towns, the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, Weston & Sampson Engineering, the Neponset River Watershed Association, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to study flooding in the region. The project includes:

A regional flood model for the Neponset River Watershed

Water doesn’t respect town boundaries. Several cities and towns have developed town-level computer-generated flood models to identify areas that currently experience flooding, as well as those that are expected to be flooded in the future. This project aims to develop a more complete picture of what water does in the Watershed. This will benefit all the participating communities.

A detailed model for Dedham’s Manor Neighborhood

Dedham’s Manor Neighborhood is one area that experiences frequent flooding. The project will take a closer look at that flooding and model some potential strategies to better prepare the community for future flooding. This more refined model will lend itself to evaluating potential solutions to reduce flood risk in other towns as well.

A Regional Climate Adaptation Collaborative Framework

Climate change will affect our communities in a number of ways, including bringing more heat waves, drought, and extreme weather. This will not only affect the environment but also public safety, public health, property, and infrastructure. Project partners will evaluate existing municipal plans and reports to find shared concerns among Watershed towns. In doing so, our communities can begin to work together across town borders to implement regional solutions that will improve their ability to thrive in the face of climate change.

Community Engagement

Climate change is a concern for everyone. But it won’t affect everyone in the same way. Project partners want to hear from everyone, and especially from residents who don’t typically participate in community meetings.

Shared Municipal Climate Adaptation Resources

The way we use land within our communities affects how warm our communities get and how water flows through our neighborhoods. Land use regulations are one way to guide future development to ensure our communities grow in ways that make them resilient to climate impacts. MAPC will guide a workshop for municipal officials on some resources available to help update these regulations in a way that keeps climate change in mind.

Project Funding

The project is being funded by your town and a grant from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.

Regional Partners:

  • Town of Dedham
  • City of Boston
  • Boston Water & Sewer Commission
  • Town of Canton
  • Town of Foxborough
  • Town of Medfield
  • Town of Milton
  • Town of Norwood
  • City of Quincy
  • Town of Sharon
  • Town of Stoughton
  • Town of Walpole
  • Town of Westwood

General Information on Climate Change in the Neponset River Watershed

What is climate change? It’s a long-term increase in global temperatures. That doesn’t mean that every day is getting warmer, but it does mean we’re seeing changes in weather patterns because of those warmer temperatures.

Weather records already show:

  • more heavy rainstorms;
  • more drought;
  • more days that reach 90 degrees or more; and
  • more intense, windy storms.

Towns across the Commonwealth are working to adapt to these changes. But they can’t do it alone. The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program funds projects each year to help cities and towns plan for and make necessary changes to reduce risks to people, property, and infrastructure.

  • Find out more about the impacts of climate change here.
  • Find out more about your town’s climate change preparedness here.

Norfolk County—Avg. Daily Maximum Temp (°F)

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