In addition to the reservoirs and surrounding borders, the City of Cambridge owns parcels of land, primarily in the upper watershed for conservation purposes. Land conservation in the upper watershed is critical to water supply protection as development can increase polluted runoff and decrease groundwater recharge. Untreated urban runoff carries sediment, nutrients, metals, and other pollutants into the water supply that could degrade water quality.
The City of Cambridge also maintains good relationships with land trusts and conservation commissions throughout the watershed to help conserve undeveloped lands and condition development via the Wetlands Protection Act.
The City of Cambridge owns and protects a variety of land throughout the watershed. These lands include woodlands, wetlands, and meadows.
Infrastructure and Properties Locations
The City of Cambridge owns approximately 1,400 acres of upcountry watershed land (~9%), plus owns and maintains dams, gatehouses, water quality monitoring stations and other infrastructure critical to the operation of the water supply. The Cambridge Parcels, Infrastructure GIS map (available here) shows the location of most Cambridge infrastructure and properties.