Rhode Island - 2012 State Policy Information  Rhode-Island State Flag

Below are results for Rhode Island 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?

    RI Water Resources Board 

    Established by Chapter §46-15 of the RI General Laws

    Title 46 Waters and Navigation CHAPTER 46-15 Water Resources Management SECTION 46-15-1 (6):

    “It shall be the duty of the water resources board to regulate the proper development, protection, conservation and use of the water resources of the state.”

  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.

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water:

    “Implement leak detection programs in accordance with AWWA standards and water supply system management plans. If leakage is more than 10% of the withdrawals and/or purchased water, as reported to the Board pursuant to rule 5.3.5, a system-wide leak detection program shall be initiated during the following fiscal year and progress reported pursuant to rule 5.3.6, per R.I General Laws § 46-15.3-5.1(c).” 

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water Text

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

    No
     
     
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    Yes.

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 7.00:

    "All water suppliers and institutional water suppliers which obtain, transport, purchase, or sell more than 50,000,000 gallons of water per year shall be required to prepare, maintain, and carry out a Water Supply Systems Management Plan (WSSMP) as described by these procedures." 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.00:

    "Water Supply System Management Plans shall address each of the topics listed in this section, to the extent that each is relevant to the water supplier, the water source(s), the water system(s), and the area served or eligible to be served." 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.08: "The emergency management component shall assess system risks and response capabilities, and shall describe a practicable contingency plan for water supply emergencies. The plan shall at a minimum: (a) Identify known and potential natural and human-caused risks to the water system and assess the extent and severity of each water supply emergency situation on each component of the water supply system. Identification of system risks shall include but not be limited to ...short and long term droughts which exceed the water supply systems' design drought, seasonal water shortages..." 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.09: "(1) WSSMPs . . .  shall contain provisions in anticipation of drought that will direct suppliers to respond promptly and effectively."

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.00 Text

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

    Yes.

    The Water Use Efficiency Rule establishes targets for per capita per day water use, leakage, efficient use, and accurate metering [3.0]; lists required and optional methods for reaching targets, including metering, education, rate structure, and leak detection programs [4.0], and requires progress reporting [5.0]. 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2: "Suppliers shall prepare a Water Efficiency and Demand Management Strategy (DMS) to achieve targets identified in section 3.0 through the application of required methods in section 4.1 and through the application of selected optional methods listed in section 4.2 and or any other methods as appropriate."  

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 7.00: "All water suppliers and institutional water suppliers which obtain, transport, purchase, or sell more than 50,000,000 gallons of water per year shall be required to prepare, maintain, and carry out a Water Supply Systems Management Plan (WSSMP) as described by these procedures." 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.00: "Water Supply System Management Plans shall address each of the topics listed in this section, to the extent that each is relevant to the water supplier, the water source(s), the water system(s), and the area served or eligible to be served." 

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.06: "The plan shall describe measures to reduce the demand for, and to effectuate efficient use of, the state’s water resources. The plan shall include a program to retrofit existing water uses not in conformance with the RI State Building Code, Plumbing Code Regulations SBC-3 (1990) for watersaving plumbing equipment."

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 8.00 Text

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water Text

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

    Yes.

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2.5:

    "The DMS [Demand Management Strategy] is subject to review and approval by the [Rhode Island Water Resources Board]."

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2.8:

    "If progress toward meeting the water efficiency and demand management targets and the supplier specific measurable goals have not been met after implementing the DMS or after 5 years, whichever is sooner, the Board may require the DMS be revised."

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water 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)? 

    Every 5 years.   

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2.1: "The DMS shall be submitted by August 1, 2012, shall constitute an amendment to the Water Supply System Management Plan (WSSMP)."

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2.6: "Subsequent versions of the DMS shall be submitted and reviewed pursuant to the Rules and Procedures of the Water Supply System Management Program."

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 10.02: "Each water supplier shall review its plans at least once every 5 years from the date of board approval or whenever a significant component of the plan is no longer valid, and shall amend or replace its plan as required so as to remain current."

  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?

    Yes.

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 5.2: "Suppliers shall prepare a Water Efficiency and Demand Management Strategy (DMS) to achieve targets identified in section 3.0 through the application of required methods in section 4.1 and through the application of selected optional methods listed in section 4.2 and or any other methods as appropriate."
     
     
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    Yes, suppliers must implement the required methods of achieving efficiency targets, at least, or be subject to enforcement action.

    96-110-008 R.I. CODE R. § 6.0:

    "6.1 The Board may issue a Notice of Violation to any major public water supplier that fails to comply with  provisions of these regulations. . . . 6.2 The Board may issue to any major public water supplier failing to comply with the requirements of rule 5.0 (Water Use and Efficiency Reporting) an order requiring submission of the required information. 6.3 Any finding by the Board of non-compliance by a major public water supplier listed in R.I. General Laws § 39-15.1-2(4) with the requirements of R.I. General Laws § 46-15.3-7.5 or § 46-15.3-7.6 shall be forwarded to the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers as required by R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-15.3-20. 6.4 Failure to comply with any administrative order issued by the Board may subject a major public water supplier to the penalties set forth in R.I. General Laws § 46-15-11(b)."

  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, through the Water Resource Board.

    From the website:

    "The RI Water Resources Board and the RI Water Resources Board Corporate are established by Chapter §46-15 of the RI General Laws. The General Assembly recognized that Rhode Island's water resources are among the state's most valuable-if not the most valuable-of all its natural resources.
    Together, these two agencies of government support the proper development, protection, conservation and use of the state's water resources while providing for economic development and protection for the environment."
     
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

    Yes.

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water:

    “The following targets, pursuant to R.I. General Laws §46-15.3-5.1 (c) and §46-15.8-5, are established by the Board… Accurate metering and billing to account for all water supplied.” “Required Methods for Achieving Targets… Initiate a program to accomplish 100% metering of all water delivered by December 31, 2012, as specified in R.I. General Laws §46-15.3-22(b). The metering requirement is not applicable to fire suppression systems, such as fire hydrants and fire sprinkler systems since the high flows of such systems makes metering impractical… Record metered usage and bill quarterly or more frequently by December 31, 2013, as specified in R.I. General Laws §46-15.3-22(c)… Rate structures that are adequate to pay for all costs associated with water supply, are equitable, sensitive to economic impacts, and encourage the efficient use of water, per R.I. General Laws §39-15.1-3 or §45-39.1.5 as applicable.” 

    Rules and Procedures Governing the Water Use and Efficiency Act for Major Public Water Text
     
     
  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: