Editorial: Save the dam, save Bristol County's water supply

Posted 9/19/19

At the risk of sounding redundant, we once again implore the Bristol County Water Authority to stop dismantling a freshwater supply that served this region for more than a century. They won’t …

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Editorial: Save the dam, save Bristol County's water supply

Posted

At the risk of sounding redundant, we once again implore the Bristol County Water Authority to stop dismantling a freshwater supply that served this region for more than a century. They won’t listen, of course.

We’ve made the argument in this space numerous times, and in person as well. They disagree. They say the old water supply is too costly to maintain and serves little purpose now that we’ve got enormous pipes bringing water from other regions. We disagree.

We believe that in a region surrounded by salt water on three sides and pushing closer to 100 percent build-out with every passing year, any freshwater source is too rare to abandon. Yet they are abandoning the old Kickemuit Reservoir and the system of dams, spillways and culverts that channeled and controlled the water for more than a century.

The latest chapter is an estimated $1.6 million project to take down a large dam along Schoolhouse Road in Warren. The dam is part of the system that brings water from ponds in Rehoboth and Swansea into the reservoir along Child Street.

The water authority could repair the dam for $1.5 million, or dismantle it for $1.6 million. The current plan is to take it down and be done with it once and for all.

When it happens, it will be another step toward the final, irrevocable loss of a freshwater supply for some 50,000 people.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.