North Carolina - 2012 State Policy Information North Carolina State Flag 

Below are results for North Carolina 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?

    North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Division of Water Resources

    Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach - NCDENR 

    North Carolina Administrative Code

    North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 113

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


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

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

  5. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 


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


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

  8. Does the state have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  


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


    N.C. GEN. STAT. § 143-215.22L:

    Certificates for a transbasin transfer of 2,000,000 gallons of water or more per day, for an increase in an existing transbasin transfer by 25% or more above the average daily amount (totaling 2,000,000 gallons or more per day), and for an increase in a transbasin transfer certificate issued under G.S. 162A-7 prior to 1 July 1993 “shall require all of the following conditions and limitations: (1) A water conservation plan that specifies the water conservation measures that will be implemented by the applicant in the receiving river basin to ensure the efficient use of the transferred water. Except in circumstances of technical or economic infeasibility or adverse environmental impact, the water conservation plan shall provide for the mandatory implementation of water conservation measures by the applicant that equal or exceed the most stringent water conservation plan implemented by a community water system, as defined in G.S. 143-355(l), that withdraws water from the source river basin.” 

    N.C. GEN. STAT. § 143-215.22L Text
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  


    15A N.C. ADMIN. CODE 02E.0607:

    "(a) Publicly and privately owned water systems that are required to prepare a Local Water Supply Plan under G.S. 143-355(l) shall include the following information in their local Water Shortage Response Plans for review by the Division of Water Resources: . . . (3) Tiered levels of response actions to be taken to reduce water use based on the severity of water shortage conditions; (4) Specific measurements of available water supply, water demand and system conditions that will be used to determine the severity of water shortage conditions and to initiate water use reduction measures and the movement between various levels; (5) Procedures that will be used to regulate compliance with the provisions of the plan; . . . (8) An evaluation method to determine the actual water savings accomplished and the effectiveness of the Water Shortage Response Plan when implemented; and (9) Procedures for revising and updating Water Shortage Response Plans to improve plan effectiveness and adapt to new circumstances. (b) Publicly and privately owned water systems that are required to prepare a Local Water Supply Plan shall submit a copy of their Water Shortage Response Plan and any subsequent revisions of the plan to the Division of Water Resources for review every five years with the full Local Water Supply Plan. . . .(c) Publicly and privately owned water systems not required to prepare a Local Water Supply Plan shall: (1) Assess their vulnerability to drought and water shortage emergencies; and (2) Prepare a written plan for responding to water shortage emergencies and drought using the provisions of Paragraph (a) of this Rule."   

    15A N.C. ADMIN. CODE 02E.0607 Text

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


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

  13. How often does the state require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 


  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?

  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 


  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?

    There are several water conservation requirements as a condition for eligibility for any state grant or loan funds for water infrastructure.

    Water Resources Development Project Grant Program  

    N.C. GEN. STAT. § 143-355.4:

    "(b) To be eligible for State water infrastructure funds from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund or the Drinking Water Reserve or any other grant or loan of funds allocated by the General Assembly whether the allocation of funds is to a State agency or to a nonprofit organization for the purpose of extending waterlines or expanding water treatment capacity, a local government or large community water system must demonstrate that the system:
    (2) Has implemented a leak detection and repair program.
    (3) Has an approved water supply plan pursuant to G.S. 143-355.
    (4) Meters all water use except for water use that is impractical to meter, including, but not limited to, use of water for firefighting and to flush waterlines.
    (5) Does not use a rate structure that gives residential water customers a lower per unit water rate as water use increases.
    (6) Has evaluated the extent to which the future water needs of the water system can be met by reclaimed water.
    (7) Has implemented a consumer education program that emphasizes the importance of water conservation"

    N.C. GEN. STAT. § 143-355.4 Text
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 


    Waste Reduction Partners - This program, supported by DEAO, uses volunteer retired engineers and scientists to provide technical assistance on pollution prevention, water efficiency and energy conservation to business, industries and local governments.

    Also offered through the NCDENR website are outreach and training, webinars, youtube videos, developed information on how to set up water efficiency outreach, and water efficiency assessments in facilities.  
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

  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?  


    North Carolina State University Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education provides ET data. 

Additional Information: 

North Carolina State Water Supply Plan