Ipswich’s Housing: Is it Sustainable?

Martin Noone and Daniel O'Carroll

We share our watershed with fourteen different communities. Regulations vary between each community due to the system that controls and looks over our watershed. Every summer residents are ready for another season of dry, arid parched weather . For example here in Ipswich once or water levels drop down the severe level there’s a ban, but unlike some other communities like Salem, Lynn and Pabody which are much larger communities receive no water bans and are allowed to continue unregulated uses of water while our watershed is depleted greatly with weeks of no rain and never ending climate change. During these times our town decides to build new neighborhoods and apartment complexes that we cannot sustain. Overpopulation amongst our water is a leading factor to the droughts we receive and we cannot sustain such a population for our watershed. 


“Residents in Ipswich have to watch their gardens die out every summer after growing such a beautiful garden in the spring” (Mrs. Lafrance). The inequality between the communities is unfair. It’s not that we deserve no ban; it should be that every community that shares the watershed gets a water ban. Our results during the summer would drastically change and would allow us to conserve more water and conserve more time to fix our sustainability by tapping into new unknown wells and aquifer here. In Ipswich, it gets worse every year yet we continue to build more neighborhoods and apartments stressing out our water supply even greater. Ipswich needs to take action and elect selectmen who will battle and secure a safe future for our town as we experience more and more climate change.


Residents in Ipswich also have mixed feelings about the construction of these new estates. Many are wondering whether Ipswich is becoming too overcrowded with the amount of traffic increasing, or what effects the new housing may have on the entirety of Ipswich.


We were able to speak with John Rodriguez, a senior at Ipswich High School who has lived in Ipswich his entire life. Not only John, but his family too, believe that Ipswich is becoming overpopulated. John explains, “[John’s family] used to tell me stories about how quiet the town used to be, and now that more people are coming my parents are always saying the town is much more loud”. Not only is Ipswich loud sound-wise, but it can also be described as loud traffic-wise, as it’s safe to say every Ipswich resident has been caught in traffic downtown or near the schools often. This traffic may not necessarily be linked to the construction of these new houses, however with more residents come more vehicles. 


Not only are these new houses controversial for residents when thinking about Ipswich’s water supply, the houses can also be controversial with their locations, many of the new properties being located on grounds once covered in numerous trees and habitats. A variety of animals have been spotted roaming Ipswich’s woodlands, some being birds, deer, foxes, or even howling coyotes. These animals aren’t in Ipswich to visit, but instead stay, using many of the woodland areas as their habitats and way of life. With a portion of the woodlands on Linebrook Road being cut down for the new housing areas, many habitats used by these animals have been diminished and cause some concern for where some animals may go. Although this may be a negative thing for the animals, this could also be a partial benefit for people who frequently drive on Linebrook Road. Many drivers worry about the potential collision with deers when on woodland roads like Linebrook, so with the forest line being pushed behind many of these property lines, it gives drivers some more time to react to deer due to them being easier to find.


Although it seems the town feels as though the new housing is a good addition to Ipswich, residents still have their opinions and oppositions towards these properties, and if we cannot fix our sustainability problem within the watershed then only time will tell how the increase in house construction will affect Ipswich.