The towns of Bourne, Carver, Kingston, Plymouth, Plympton, Middleborough and Wareham all depend on the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer as their principal source of water.
Recognizing the critical nature of the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer as potable supply, the Massachusetts Legislature, through the leadership of Senators Murray and Pacheco, voted to create the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer Advisory Committee (PCAAC). Funding to the Committee was provided in the fiscal year 2007 and fiscal year 2008 budgets and administered by the Water Policy Group of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
Plymouth Carver Aquifer Action Plan
Through a series of monthly public discussions, the PCAAC developed the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer Action Plan during fiscal year 2007. These meetings focused on the following topics:
- Negotiation strategies with local developers and other users of water resources for effective management and conservation.
- Education regarding legislative and administrative policies on water permitting, use, and mitigation at the state, regional, and local level.
- Strategies and regulatory parameters for water resource protection for state and local governance, including but not limited to the reuse of effluent, stormwater management, resource protection model by-laws, and multiple community strategies in use elsewhere.
- Dewatering and the impacts of earth removal activities on groundwater levels.
- Relationship of private water supplies on existing and future potential water supplies (i.e. impact of private community supplies; impact of irrigation projects).
During fiscal year 2008, the PCAAC targeted their focus on three key areas discussed in the Plan:
- A regional approach to open space protection
- The creation of a consistent series of local by-laws dedicated toward aquifer protection
- Social marketing strategies to help educate residents about the importance of water conservation
These discussions included significant public input, including two widely publicized and well attended summits held in November 2007 at the Pinehills and in June 2008 at the Wareham Public Library.
The PCAAC continues to meet each month at the Carver Town Hall as the communities work cooperatively to implement the goals outlined in the aquifer plan. For more information regarding the committee, contact your local designee.
PCAAC Local Designees
Plymouth Carver Aquifer Action Plan: Developed through a public process, the Plymouth-Carver Sole-Source Aquifer Action Plan reflects the input obtained from the citizens of the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer. This plan identifies strategies to guide local citizens in all walks of life to protect their common resource, the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer. These strategies address aquifer issues from the perspective of government officials, business employers or employees, agriculturalists, or local residents. Creation of the plan was facilitated by the Lakeville consulting engineering firm Fuss & O'Neill, Inc.
Plymouth Carver Regional Open Space Plan (DRAFT): Though subject to final approval by the individual communities, this regional open space plan creates a guiding framework for open space protection dedicated to aquifer protection for years to come. In addition to working with local citizens to write the plan, the Urban Harbors Institute of UMASS-Boston also developed a prioritization tool for local communities to use in the future for evaluating potential open space acquisitions.
Survey Results - Plymouth Carver Aquifer Citizen Survey : Conducted by the Institute for Regional Development at Bridgewater State University, this survey took a first look at citizen attitudes regarding water use and water conservation in the towns in the aquifer region.
Plymouth Carver Water Budgets: A presentation by Dr. Nigel Pickering, the water budgets analyzes the human impact on area streamflow, and serves to educate decision makers on sustainable water use.