Restrictions on Outside Water Use

The Town has not lifted the water restriction imposed last year due to the drought. While the water table has improved some, the State Department of Environmental Services is still encouraging restrictions because the weather forecast looks drier than normal as well as warmer than usual (which promotes dryness). Therefore, there continues to be no residential lawn watering in Town. Fees may be imposed for non-compliance.

If you receive a water bill from the Rollinsford Water Sewer District, you are subject to a stricter water use restriction. Details can be found here:

For more information about drought conditions in Strafford County visit:

Drought Conditions Update

There is more drought improvement to report, but the same for next week is unlikely.  Widespread drought conditions remain, but severe drought (D2) and extreme drought (D3) have been downgraded to moderate drought (D1) in approximately 50% of the southeastern area of the state which has experienced the worst dry conditions.  There is no rain forecast through the weekend or early next week and above normal temperatures in the 60s are expected, with southern parts of New Hampshire potentially seeing temperatures in the low 70s on Saturday.  Outlooks for mid-November indicate precipitation received is likely to be normal to slightly above normal. Since last week, the U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook has been released and indicates it is unlikely there will be more drought improvement by the end of the month.


ATTN: While the growing season is over, the warmer temperatures over the next few days are likely to result in an increase of outdoor water use as people head outdoors to wash cars, power wash, and tie up other fall cleanup chores.  Please keep the public reminded of outdoor water use restrictions, as well as indoor water saving tips. To date, 165 community water systems serving 345,000 people and eight municipalities with a total population of 66,000 have water use restrictions in place (Restriction List and Map).


New Monthly Groundwater Update! While the majority of the wells in the New Hampshire Geological Survey’s monitoring network are experiencing below normal to low groundwater levels, recent precipitation has raised groundwater levels in many of the wells in the northern portion of the state from low to normal.  With slightly below average precipitation in the central and southeast portions of the state, falling or below normal to low groundwater levels continue. For more information, see the New Hampshire Groundwater Level Monitoring Report for October 2020.  Reports are released monthly.


NEW! Are residential well owners experiencing well shortage issues in your community?  If so, they may qualify for the Low-Income Residential Drought Assistance Program.


Drought Guidance for the public, municipalities, and private well owners, as well as other drought information such as guidance on setting up an emergency water access location may be found on the Drought Management webpage.


Drought Update:


According to the U.S. Drought Monitor released this morning, there has been some drought improvement since last week.  7.47% of the state is categorized as “extreme drought” (D3), 9.29% of the state is categorized as “severe drought”(D2), 82.9% of the state is categorized as “moderate drought” (D1), and 0.33% is categorized as abnormally dry.

Tip* The restriction map includes town boundaries and drought categories, making it easy to identify if your municipality is experiencing drought.


Table. Percent of state in exceptional drought (D4), extreme drought (D3), severe drought(D2), moderate drought (D1), and abnormally dry (D0).


Over the past 7-days, the majority of the state received between 0.5” and 1.5” of precipitation.  Rockingham, Hillsborough, and the majority of Cheshire counties received the most, ranging between 1” to 1.5”.  Sullivan County, the western border of Grafton, the western border of Merrimack, and the majority of Coos received the least, ranging between 0.25” to 0.5” with northern parts of Coos receiving even less ranging from 0.01” to 0.25”.  The majority of Merrimack, Belknap, Strafford, Carrol, and the majority of Grafton counties received 0.5” to 1.0” (NOAA Precipitation Observed).


Over the past 30-days, all counties, have experienced normal to slightly above normal precipitation, but the longer term 90-day, 180-day, and 360-day precipitation departures remain for all counties (National Weather Service).


Forecast and Outlooks:

Above normal temperatures and dry conditions are forecast through the weekend and early next week.  A cold front is to follow later next week.  (NOAA National Weather Service Forecast & NOAA Precip Forecast).


The 6-10 day outlook strongly favors above normal temperatures and slightly favors above normal precipitation.  The 8-14 day outlook strongly favors above normal temperatures and favors normal precipitation (National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center).


New Monthly Update! According to the US Monthly and Seasonal Drought Outlook, over the next month drought conditions are likely to remain unchanged and over the next three months, drought conditions are likely to remain but improve, except for Coos County where drought removal is likely.


Mandatory Water Ban: All Outdoor Water Use

As drought conditions persist and parts of Strafford County, including Rollinsford, have been elevated to “Extreme Drought”, the Rollinsford Water and Sewer District is placing a mandatory water ban on all outdoor water use. The ban is effective immediately and will be in place until conditions improve. Per this ban, the following activities are restricted within the District:

  • Watering of residential landscape areas (lawns or landscapes) *also prohibited townwide as of 9/28/20*
  • Washing of vehicles
  • Washing down paved surfaces
  • Filling of swimming pools

Please be advised that the water use restrictions will be enforced. The first offense will result in a written notice for failure to comply. A second violation will result in a $100 fine. A third violation will result in a $500 fine. If you observe violations to the ban or have any questions, please contact the District office at 603-742-8124 or via email.

Water Restriction Notice

Effective September 28, 2020, the Town of Rollinsford is enacting a water restriction prohibiting the watering of residential lawns due to the severe drought conditions that continue throughout most of the State. Parts of Strafford County including Rollinsford are now in an EXTREME drought. All residents within the Town of Rollinsford must comply with Level 3 restrictions found in Ordinance 2016-02 which can be found on the Town website. The Town encourages people to consider other ways to conserve water including not washing vehicles. For more information visit the NH Department of Environmental Services

Voluntary Water Restriction

The Rollinsford Water and Sewer District (RWSD) is currently asking that District members voluntarily reduce outdoor water use as local drought conditions continue to worsen. At this time, the public is requested to refrain voluntarily from landscape watering and to limit the amount of water used outdoors for other purposes. We will continue to monitor our water levels and may issue mandatory restrictions if conditions continue to worsen and drought conditions persist. We thank you for your cooperation.

Moderate Drought Conditions

Southern New Hampshire is currently in a moderate drought which impacts groundwater levels. The Select Board is monitoring the situation and is not imposing a water restriction as authorized by Ordinance 2016-02 at this time. However, the Town asks that whether you receive your water from the Rollinsford Water Sewer District or a private well that you be mindful of the situation. Drought conditions also increase the risk of fire.

For more information read the ordinance for actions you may take proactively and visit the website of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to learn more about the situation, the implications and outlook.

Water Ban Lifted

At its meeting on Monday, May 8, the Select Board removed the water ban restrictions relating to the drought situation in NH.   Based upon the state drought monitor updated on 5/4/17, Strafford County is almost completely drought-free with only the southern reaches of the county in an “abnormally dry condition.”

The Board appreciates the cooperation of all during the water ban and encourages us all to be mindful of this most precious of resources.


The Select Board met on Tuesday, September 20 to review the state’s guidance on the drought conditions in the state of NH.  The guidance came to us via a phone conference call on Friday, September 16 with the state’s Drought Management Team. The Board voted to institute a ban on water usage in the town per RSA 41:11-d.  This ban covers residential usage and pertains to residents with private wells as well as residents on the town’s public water system. The ban covers the watering of residential lawns and will become active on Tuesday, September 27.  We encourage residents to read the entire ordinance and to pay close attention to the fines.

Additionally, we are providing resources that you can refer to for more information on the drought situation in the state.

The situation is a serious one. We will enforce the ban of required restrictions We also encourage residents to look for voluntary ways to conserve this most precious of natural resources by avoiding the following:  washing vehicles, hosing off paved surfaces, filling swimming pools, power-washing houses.

We have created an informational page about the drought for residents. Please refer to it for important information for homeowners with private wells, information on the severity of the drought, and links to resources such as emergency financial assistance to help mitigate water issues.
View the Rollinsford 2016 Drought page »