Climate change assessment in Carver turns to next steps

CARVER – The two priorities are studying the impacts of climate change on cranberry bogs and other agricultural uses and on Carver’s firefighting water supplies.

Last year, Carver received $196,979 for a climate change water resource vulnerability and adaptation strategy assessment as part of the second phase of the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant and designation program. Carver received $15,000 the first year.

Water resources engineers Diane Mas and Phil Moreschi of consultants Fuss and O’Neill presented the findings from the MVP grant study overseen by the town’s planning and permitting office to the Select Board last week. They focused on the two priority areas.

Mas said the next step in the process with the assessment completed will be utilizing the assessment to secure grant funding for an integrated plan to protect Carver. After review by the Select Board, the assessment report was due to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs by the end of June.

For firefighting, the assessment identified water supplies that are most vulnerable to drought.

“Everybody’s working with a limited budget,” she said, “so where do you expend your resources, how do you figure out how to prioritize needs to get the most benefit that you can for resiliency and adaptation.”

As for the agricultural water supply, Mas said it’s vital to work with bog owners to pursue strategies for their farms. She said they also surveyed growers about the challenges facing them, including the impact of the 2016 drought, to focus on management alternatives.

Moreschi said the farmers do know best.

“No one wants to force a solution onto the individual farmers,” he said.

Mas said the next round of action grants will be available late summer or early fall, she said they have identified other grants, but the MVP grants are one of the best options.

Moreschi said the town will want to be ready to meet again in July to develop a strategy for pursuing grant funding.

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