The Ware River

Last Updated: 4/2017
General Description
          The Ware River flows southwest through the middle of the state, joins the Quaboag River at Three Rivers, Massachusetts, to form the Chicopee River on its way to the Connecticut River.

       The Brigham Pond Dam, forming a pond of the same name, first impounds the West Branch of the Ware River in Westminster. The area north of Hubbardston feeds tributaries of the Ware and Millers rivers, the Millers River running generally west, and the Ware River running generally southwest. The Ware River is part of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority drinking water system serving the greater Boston area.

History
     The river was named for early fish weirs.  In 1928 the building of a 12.5-mile-long aqueduct connecting the Ware River to the Wachusett Reservoir commenced a major public works undertaking. The 12-foot-wide massive horseshoe-shaped conduit, known as the Wachusett-Coldbrook Tunnel, had to be blasted through solid rock at a depth of 200 feet. The arrival in 1931 of the first water from the Ware River by way of this tunnel probably saved the Wachusett Reservoir from drying up, for a prolonged drought had reduced Wachusett’s water supply to less than 20 percent of capacity.
      In 1933 the Quabbin Aqueduct was completed, ready to transport water from the Quabbin Reservoir under construction. The Swift River Diversion tunnel is in full use, bypassing water around the dam area.

STATISTICS

Total Length = 34.6 + 4.5 W + 12.7 E = 51.5 miles 

         The miles are numbered from the mouth of the river to the furthest point of the East and West Branches.  There are several values given for the length of the Ware River.  We carefully measured and re-measured the length of the river using the USGS Map tool TOPO developed by National Geographic and found the length of the river 34.6 statute miles to where the two branches.  The East branch extends 12.7 miles.  The West branch extends 4.5 miles.

Access Points
        We have carefully cataloged each access point and significant location.  There are many more locations that can be used but the list matchs up with the usable reaches described below:
 


Access Points
Ware River Dams
 
There are 8 dams on the Chicopee River, owned by multiple utilities:​​
Mile

39.1
34.3
29.8
28.8
27.8
15.3
12.35
11.9
Name

Brigham Pond Dam
Barre Falls Dam
Quabbin Diversion Dam
Powder Mill Pond Dam
South Barre Dam
Unknown Dam
Upper Dam in Ware
Lower Dam in Ware
REACHES
         Each reach has a map(s) with put-in and take-out positions, description, length, difficulty, and information as appropriate.
  USGS Current Streamflow Conditions
Ware River Basin
USGS 01172500 WARE RIVER NEAR BARRE, MA                                   Mile 34.2
USGS 01173000 WARE RIVER AT INTAKE WORKS NEAR BARRE, MA   Mile 29.6
USGS 01173500 WARE RIVER AT GIBBS CROSSING, MA                        Mile 9.1
 RIVER LEVEL
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
 There is NO reporting for this river by NWS