Massachusetts - 2012 State Policy Information Massachusetts State Flag 

Below are results for Massachusetts from the 2011/2012 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard survey.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. State Agencies Q8. Water Loss Q15. Implementation Requirements
Q2. Toilet Regulations   Q9. Permitting    Q16. State Funding for Conservation
Q3. Showerhead Regulations Q10. Drought Plans Q17. Technical Assistance
Q4. Urinal Regulations Q11. Conservation Plans Q18. Volumetric Billing  
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations Q12. Authority to Approve Plans Q19. Metered Connections 
Q6. PRSV Regulations Q13. Plan Update Frequency Q20. ET Microclimate Information  
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes Q14. Planning Framework Additional Information

 

 

 

 

 

 


  1. What state agency or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Water Resources Commission develops and adopts state water policy and conservation standards
    -MA Water Policy (2004)
    -MA Water Conservation Standards (2006) 

    Office of Water Resources (Division of Water Supply Protection - Dept. of Conservation and Recreation) provides staff to the Water Resources Commission

    Department of Environmental Protection administers the Water Management Act (MGL c. 21G) which regulates all water withdrawals of over 100,000 gallons per day.  Permits issued for drinking water withdrawals initiated since 1985 include conservation requirements based on the MA Water Resources Commission’s Water Conservation Standards.  Withdrawals initiated prior to 1985 are registered and are not subject to conservation requirements at this time.

    Department of Public Utilities regulates private water companies and must review and approve all rate increases.

  2. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No

  3. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No
     
  4. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

    No
      
  5. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

    No

  6. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  

    No

  7. Does the state have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

    No
     
  8. Does the state have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  

    Yes.

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.11:

    “Each person who has filed and had accepted by the Department a verified or estimated registration statement shall file an annual report. The deadline for filing such an annual report, and the nature, content and details of filing the report shall be specified in guidelines established by the Department.”

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.20:

    "(2) Each application for a permit for a proposed new withdrawal shall also include: . . .
    (c) any alternatives to the proposed withdrawal including a study of cost, feasibility and environmental effects of such alternatives, and including but not limited to leak detection and repair, conservation and demand management"

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text

    Massachusetts Water Resources Authority 360 CMR 12.00: Leak Detection Regulations (only applies to MWRA customers):

    "The purpose of 360 CMR 12.00 is to promote water conservation by the communities that receive some or all of their water supply from the Authority by requiring that those communities undertake leak detection and repair activities. These measures will improve water accountability and reduce waste of water through leakage." 

    360 CMR 12.00: Leak Detection Regulations Text
     

  9. Does the state require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?

    Yes.

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.20

    “(2) Every registration statement must contain, at a minimum…  (f) Conservation measures instituted, or to be instituted, by the registrant;”
    “(1) Each permit application filing shall include, at a minimum… (f) a description of water conservation measures instituted or to be instituted by the applicant, including a schedule for implementation of those measures;”

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.25

    “(1) Each permit applicant must submit, in accordance with guidelines developed by the Department, a detailed water conservation program and implementation timetable with the permit application.”

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.26:

    “(1) In reviewing a permit application, the Department shall consider at least the following… (h) reasonable conservation practices and measures;”

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.28:

    “(1) All permits shall be conditioned on at least the following… (e) implementation of water conservation measures;”

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.33:

    “(1) Each permit holder shall file an annual statement of withdrawal which includes at least the following… (b) conservation measures instituted in the past 12 months; (c) savings due to conservation measures implemented;” 

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text
      
     
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    No.   

  11. Does the state have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   

    Yes, but only in connection to permitting.

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.25(1):

    "Each permit applicant must submit, in accordance with guidelines developed by the Department, a detailed water conservation program and implementation timetable with the permit application." 

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.28(1)(e):

    "All permits shall be conditioned on at least the following: . . . (e) implementation of water conservation measures."  

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text 

  12. Does the state have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

    Yes, but only in connection to permitting.

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.25(2):

    "The Department [of Environmental Protection] shall review the conservation plan and timetable submitted with the permit application, and may include the conservation program and timetable, as a condition of the permit. The Department may reject totally or in part the plan submitted by the applicant and require different or additional conservation requirements and a timetable for implementation."

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text
     
  13. How often does the state require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 

    Reviewed every 5 years (only in connection to permitting).

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.33(4):

    "(4) Each holder of a permit which has a term greater than five years shall file every five years for a review of the permit on a form provided by the Department at least 60 days prior to the fifth anniversary of the original permit application date. The permit holder shall submit at the time of service any additional information requested by the Department. . . . The Department will review for adequacy and compliance all permit conditions and provisions, additional information submitted by the applicant, and any available safe yield information. The Department may modify permit conditions or provisions accordingly."

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text

  14. If the state has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?

    No
     
     
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    Yes. 

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36.28:

    "(1) All permits shall be conditioned on at least the following: . . . (e) implementation of water conservation measures . . . . (2) The holder of a permit shall comply at all times with all conditions of the permit imposed by the Department . . . ."

    MASS. REGS. CODE tit. 310, § 36 Text

  16. Does the state offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants?  Bonds?  Appropriations?

    Nothing beyond the DWSRF and CWSRF.
     
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

    Yes.

    Water Resources Commission 

    Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) offers a range of assistance and information to help facilities improve water use efficiency.
     
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

    No
     
     
  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your state?
     
  20. Does the state provide statewide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes?  

    No

Additional Information: 

The Massachusetts Water Resources Commission Water Conservation Standards