PLease answer the questions provided in the folder attached
chapter_10_activity_2_your_water_source_and_dams.docx

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GEOG 130 Online
Activity 2: Your Water Source and Dams
Introduction: Our local water issues impact our lives. This is especially the case with our drinking water
sources and their quality, which can change over time. In this activity you’ll investigate your drinking
water source and quality and then also look at the issue of dams, dam removal and impervious surfaces.
Instructions: Please respond to the questions below. Be sure to use a distinct font color or highlighting
of your responses so I can identify them within the document. Once completed, save your answers and
upload to Blackboard before the deadline.
Part 1: Your Household Water Supply
Research the drinking water source for your town and include information about water quality reports.
If you use a private well, please complete this activity for the Town’s general water source. Cities and
Towns in Massachusetts are required by State law to monitor water quality and make the reports
available to the public. The town’s web page will have links to this information. If you cannot find the
information, please email me and I will help you.
Report the following information:
1. What is the source of the water? Groundwater wells? Surface water from some reservoir?
2. Have there been any contamination or other issues with quality of your Town’s water in the last
two years? Usually tests are done on a regular basis and the results are publicly accessible.
3. Please include the website link to your source of information.
Part 2: Dams in Your Region

Visit the Commonwealth’s River Restoration: Dam Removal site: https://www.mass.gov/riverrestoration-dam-removal
Respond:
1.
2.
3.
4.
How many dams are in the state?
What are some of the negative issues these impoundments (dams) create for ecosystems?
Why are dam owners choosing to have their dams removed?
What is the DER?

Scroll to the middle of the page and click on the button titled “Locate your dam & evaluate its
ecological benefit if removed”.
In the map that appears on the screen, zoom into your town area. Select a dam that has a high
“Ecological Benefit Percentile” – open the legend by clicking on the button in the upper left. It’s
ok if you use a dam outside your town area.

5. In the popup window that appears, use the information to report the following:
Percentile Score
Owner type
Owner
Town
Dam Name
Hazard Rating
Watershed Imperviousness (%)





Go to this site and read about the ArcGIS Online layer:
https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=624863a9c2484741a9e2cc1ec9c95bce
Click on the button “Open in Map Viewer” (you might need to sign in)
Type in Bridgewater, MA in the search box in the upper right to zoom to Bridgewater
Turn the layer transparent so you can see the basemap underneath. About 40% transparent
works well.
View the legend for the layer
6. Take a screenshot of the map and paste below.
7. Zoom out so you can see Brockton and Bridgewater too. Take a screenshot and paste below.
8. Zoom out even further so you can see Providence and Boston in the same view. Take a
screenshot and paste below.

Add the following layer from ArcGIS Online by searching “massgis basin”. Add the “Major
Basins” layer by MassGIS. Zoom out a bit on the map until you see the purple watershed lines
show up.
9. When just visually comparing the Charles River watershed to the Taunton River watershed,
which has more impervious surface within its boundaries?
10. Following from the previous question, if there was a major rainfall in eastern Massachusetts,
which of the two watersheds, Charles or Taunton, would rise quicker due to runoff entering the
river?
11. Finally, please reflect on what does “imperviousness” refer to in the context of the table you
filled in above about the dam. Why is imperviousness an issue with dams? Why do you think we
want to know how impervious or non-impervious a watershed area is for a dam?

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