All of Dover’s water, whether from private wells (about 2/3 of households) or Public Water Suppliers (PWSs) like the Colonial Water Company (about 30% of households), comes from two underground aquifers that we all share. In recent years, our water security in Dover has been negatively impacted by climate change, increased residential development, and the overuse of lawn irrigation systems during the summer months. A study of data submitted by the PWSs that serve Dover indicates that Dover consistently exceeds the Massachusetts conservation standard of 65 gal/person/day, and, in some cases, irrigation can achieve three to six times that amount, most often in the summer months. After the 2016 drought when many wells dried up, the Dover Board of Health established a Water Resources Committee (WRC) that obtained $150,000 from the 2018 Dover Town Meeting to hire a water consultant to drill groundwater monitoring wells in order to collect scientific data on the status of our groundwater in town.
The resulting Hydrology Study by the Kleinfelder Company was issued in March 2020 and recommended the following short-term conservation actions: development of water conservation programs, comprehensive educational outreach programs by the Board of Health and the PWSs, and exploration of regulatory options such as local irrigation regulations or bylaws. In September 2020, the Board of Selectmen established the Water Resource Task Force to address longer term issues of water availability for Dover’s residents.
Water conservation is a voluntary activity by Dover’s residents. Given the increasing stress on our shared water resources, we hope all residents will take a community approach and find ways to reduce water consumption. We urge you to explore the FAQs and links provided as they include many excellent and effective ways to conserve water.