The City strives to provide the greatest degree of protection of the water supply reservoirs.  Land ownership and preservation are two actions that provide the greatest degree of water supply protection.  To protect the water quality of the three active drinking water reservoirs: Mountain Street, West Whately, and Francis P. Ryan Reservoir;  City-owned water supply property surrounding the reservoirs is posted for no trespassing and a Water Division Reservoir Ranger monitors the watershed property located in Hatfield, Williamsburg, Whately and Conway.  The City has also coordinated with the Massachusetts Environmental Police for extra patrols to enforce the no trespassing policy.  These patrols will continue on a periodic basis throughout the year.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy, resilient forest is an important component of watershed management and water quality protection.  To protect raw water quality, the DPW worked with a Massachusetts Licensed Forester to complete Forest Stewardship Plans for 3,000 +/- acres of forested water supply property surrounding the active drinking water reservoirs and for the 600 +/- acres of forest surrounding the emergency Roberts Meadow Reservoir System located in Leeds.  The plans provide an inventory and assessment of forest stands, while providing a master plan intended to guide land management efforts in keeping with DPW’s goal as water supplier.  Implementation of the recommendations of these plans, including a variety of silvicultural treatments on forest stands near the active reservoirs, began during the winter of 2013 and will continue in 2014. 

Click on the link below for photographs and more information on this winter's harvest:

Click on links below to view specific forest stewardship plans or the cutting plans:

Please contact Johanna Stacy with any questions regarding the City's watershed protection program.

Northampton Forest Stewardship Plans 

All City Northampton water supply property (except two recently acquired parcels totaling 8 acres) have MA Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) approved Forest Stewardship Plans.  Additionally, this property is enrolled in Green Certification through the MA DCR Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Group Certification. FSC is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that promotes the responsible management of the world’s forests. Forest certification is a third party auditing system of forest management practices.  The principles and criteria established by FSC promote ecologically beneficial, socially responsible, economically viable forest management practices.