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Water is topic of coffee forum at Wellesley library

Posted by Sarah Thomas  October 25, 2010 11:07 AM

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There may be many different opinions on what makes a great cup of coffee, but few people would disagree you need water. The sustainability of this invaluable natural resource will be the topic of a morning coffee forum with Robert Zimmerman, executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association.

"The bottom line is, we've put ourselves in a box with the engineering of our wastewater and stormwater systems," Zimmerman said. "But the good news is with thoughtful engineering, we can restore our surface water bodies and build resilience against long term drought, while reducing our energy demand."

The event will take place Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Prior to joining the CRWA, Zimmerman worked for two years as a consultant to the energy industry. He was also a founder of the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, New York, and has degrees in history, English, and Middle English from Central Michigan University.

Zimmerman said the speaking program came about after members of the CRWA's advisory board liaised with the town's trails committee and garden study group about pollution in the Charles River, particularly phosphorus deposits from parking lots which cause the unchecked growth of river plants.

"The river is dying because of the growth of plants," Zimmerman said. "if we're going to get the river to a stable state, we need to reduce the amount of phosphorus in it by 54 percent. We can accomplish it by regulating stormwater runoff in parking lots and practicing smart sewering."

Zimmerman said he would be speaking on the CRWA's recent accomplishment and taking questions on matters specific to Wellesley, including maintenance expansion at Wellesley Country Club and conservation-based water withdrawal permits.

"This is my first time back in Wellesley in 4 to 5 years, and I'm looking forward to speaking with the community," Zimmerman said. "I hope to return more often."

For more information visit the CRWA's website.

Sarah Thomas can be reached at sarah.m.thomas@gmail.com.

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