Sharon and NepRWA Partner on Push for Water Conservation

Courtesy of Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA)

The Town of Sharon sits at the headwaters of the Neponset and Taunton Watersheds, and supplies all of its own public drinking water from local sources. Sharon is looking ahead to substantial residential and commercial growth over the next few years. As we’re well familiar, with new growth comes demand for more water, as well as the prospect that Sharon could outgrow its current water supplies.

One option for Sharon to meet growing demand would be to import additional water from the MWRA water system halfway across the state. However, before looking to that costly and environmentally problematic solution, Sharon has decided to explore water conservation as a way to meet new demands, while controlling costs and better protecting streams both locally and on the other side of the state.

Recently the Sharon Department of Public works and NepRWA worked together to secure seed funding for a dramatic expansion of water conservation efforts in the town using a MassDEP Water Conservation Grant. The grant, along with matching funds from the town, will allow for the development of a detailed water conservation plan for the town and the implementation of a variety of conservation measures. Under the plan, NepRWA would hire a part-time Water Conservation Coordinator to focus on jump-starting the Sharon program. Some of the early actions items include direct outreach to water users, working with local civic groups, and enlisting the assistance of professionals such as plumbers, landscape contractors and irrigation system installers.

The project would also include implementing demonstration projects around town, such as high-efficiency toilets and improved irrigation system controllers at public locations. Other important components include conducting educational outreach to young people through the school system and developing town-specific performance standards for water-saving devices.

From the NepRWA newsletter, January-February 2008.