Director of Water Supply Protection, Department of Conservation and Recreation
Now that residents in eastern Massachusetts are free to drink safely from the faucet again, it could be a great time to go out and take an up-close and personal look at the beautiful place that makes it all possible: the Quabbin Reservoir.
Certainly, the Quabbin is, first and foremost, the source of one of the highest-quality drinking water supplies in the nation. More than 2 million people depend on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to deliver that extraordinary water to their homes, and the MWRA does a great job through the transmission, treatment, and distribution system to ensure the best-possible drinking water at the tap. DCR's role, through the Division of Water Supply Protection, is to provide watershed protection across the Quabbin/Ware River/Wachusett system. DCR was recently honored by the American Water Works Association with the most prestigious award for water supply protection in North America, the Exemplary Source Water Protection Award.
The Quabbin is also, however, a wonderful place to walk, hike, bicycle, hunt, fish, and watch the birds. Miles of old roads wind through the watershed, and fishing opportunities – including boat rentals – abound. The Quabbin Visitors Center on Route 9 in Belchertown is open seven days a week and has information and interpretive programs on the history and wildlife of the reservoir and the watershed. One important component of DCR's Visitors Center is to honor and commemorate the sacrifice made in the Quabbin Valley to create the reservoir in the 1930s, and the loss of four towns: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.
On a clear day, from the top of the Quabbin Observation Tower, it is possible to see Mount Greylock in the Berkshires, Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, and the city of Hartford in Connecticut.
MWRA “QuabCam” – Amazing view of the Quabbin Valley in real-time!