Currently, the Town of Dover has no authority (neither its Board of Selectmen nor its Board of Health) to regulate the amount of water usage associated with private wells. Unlike many other towns, Dover has not approved any regulations or bylaws that allow for enforcement of recommended water conservation activities during normal times or during state-declared drought conditions. Massachusetts General Law Ch. 21 Section 67 specifies that 1. irrigation systems include a moisture sensor to shut off systems during and immediately after rain events and 2. registration of systems with the Town which would provide a means of communicating with and educating irrigation system users. However, these regulations have not been implemented in Dover.
At present, the Massachusetts Department of Protection (MassDEP) regulates all Public Water Suppliers (PWSs), like the Colonial Water Company, that has a permit through the Water Management Act (WMA) to pump water. That permit limits the amount of water that the PWS can withdraw from the aquifer and also requires that the companies develop and implement a water conservation program. However, there is little if any enforcement of the permit terms.