Virginia - 2012 State Policy Information Virginia State Flag 

Below are results for Virginia 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?

    Department of Environmental Quality (Water Division, Office of Surface and Ground Water Management)

    State Water Control Board 

    Department of Health (Office of Drinking Water)

  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?  

    9 VAC 25-780-10(A):

    “All counties, cities and towns (hereinafter "local governments") in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall submit a local water supply plan or shall participate in a regional planning unit in the submittal of a regional water supply plan to the board in accordance with this chapter.”

    9 VA. ADMIN. CODE §25-780-80(B):

    “A water plan shall include the following information for community water systems… 9. For each community water system included in the water plan, the plan shall include an estimate of the disaggregated amounts of water used in categories of use appropriate for the system. Typical categories may include… f. Unaccounted for losses;”

    9 VAC 25-780-110(A)(3):

    “A water plan shall include information that describes, within the planning area, the practices to address water loss in the maintenance of water systems to reduce unaccounted for water loss. The types of items to be described may include, but are not limited to: leak detection and repair and old distribution line replacement.”

    9 VAC 25-780-10&80&110 Text

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

    Yes, but only related to groundwater.“

    9 VAC 25-610-100: 

    "A. Any application to initiate a new withdrawal or expand an existing withdrawal in any ground water management area or the reapplication at the end of a permit cycle for all permits shall require a water conservation and management plan before the application or reapplication is considered complete… C. The board shall review all water conservation and management plans and assure that such plans contain all elements required in 9VAC25-610-100 B.” 

    9 VAC 25-610-100 Text
      
     
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    Yes, as part of water supply plans. 

    9 VAC 25-780-10(A):

    "All counties, cities and towns . . . in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall submit a local water supply plan or shall participate in a regional planning unit in the submittal of a regional water supply plan to the board in accordance with this chapter."

    9 VAC 25-780-40:

    "Local governments shall develop programs for local or regional water plans that are necessary to comply with this chapter."

    9 VAC 25-780-120:

    "A program that includes community water systems and self-supplied users who withdraw more than an average of 300,000 gallons per month of surface water and ground water shall contain drought response and contingency plans in accordance with the following requirements: 1. Drought response and contingency plans shall be structured to address the unique characteristics of the water source that is being utilized and the nature of the beneficial use of water. 2. Drought response and contingency plans shall contain, at a minimum, the following three graduated stages of responses to the onset of drought conditions: a. Drought watch stage responses are generally responses that are intended to increase awareness in the public and private sector to climatic conditions that are likely to precede the occurrence of a significant drought event. Public outreach activities shall be identified to inform the population served by a community water system of the potential for drought conditions to intensify and potential water conservation activities that may be utilized. b. Drought warning stage responses are generally responses that are required when the onset of a significant drought event is imminent. Voluntary water conservation activities shall be identified with the goal of reducing water use by 5-10%. c. Drought emergency stage responses are generally responses that are required during the height of a significant drought event. Mandatory water conservation activities shall be identified with the goal of reducing water use by 10-15%. 3. Drought response and contingency plans shall include references to local ordinances, if adopted, and procedures for the implementation and enforcement of drought response and contingency plans." 

    9 VAC 25-780-10 Text
    9 VAC 25-780-120 Text

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

    Yes, Virginia has two conservation planning process: water supply plans and water conservation plans linked to groundwater permitting. 

    For water supply plans:

    9 VAC 25-780-10(A):

    "All counties, cities and towns . . . in the Commonwealth of Virginia shall submit a local water supply plan or shall participate in a regional planning unit in the submittal of a regional water supply plan to the board in accordance with this chapter." 

    9 VAC 25-780-110:

    "A. As part of a long-term strategy, a water plan shall address conservation as a part of overall water demand management . . . ." 

    For water conservation plans linked to groundwater permitting

    9 VAC 25-610-90(C):

    "Persons wishing to initiate a new withdrawal or expand an existing withdrawal in any ground water management area and not excluded from requirements of this chapter by 9 VAC 25-610-50 shall apply for a permit. . . .  2. A complete ground water withdrawal permit application for a new or expanded withdrawal, at a minimum, shall contain the following: . . . h. A water conservation and management plan . . . ." 

    9 VAC 25-610-100(A):

    "Any application to initiate a new withdrawal or expand an existing withdrawal in any ground water management area or the reapplication at the end of a permit cycle for all permits shall require a water conservation and management plan before the application or reapplication is considered complete."

    9 VAC 25-780-10 Text
    9 VAC 25-780-110 Text
    9 VAC 25-610-90 Text
    9 VAC 25-610-100 Text

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

    Yes. 

    For water supply plans:

    9 VAC 25-780-140(A):

    "The [State Water Control] board shall review all programs to determine compliance with this regulation and consistency with the State Water Resources Plan. The board will review adopted elements of a local program according to review policies adopted by the board. Copies of the adopted local program documents and subsequent changes thereto shall be provided to the board."  Note that Virginia has some good provisions related to public hearings and comment periods. 

    For groundwater permitting conservation plans:

    9 VAC 25-610-100(C):

    "The [State Water Control] board shall review all water conservation and management plans and assure that such plans contain all elements required . . . ."

    9 VAC 25-610-100 Text
    9 VAC 25-780-140 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)? 

    For water supply plans:

    9 VAC 25-780-50:

    "D. All local programs shall be reviewed no later than five years after a compliance determination by the board . . . . Revised plans shall be submitted when this review indicates that circumstances have changed or new information has been made available that will result in water demands that will not be met by alternatives contained in the water plan. These circumstances may be caused by changes in demands, the availability of the anticipated source, cumulative impacts, in-stream beneficial uses, or other factors. In the case where the review by the local government or regional planning unit indicates that the circumstances have not changed sufficiently to warrant a revision of the water plan after five years, the locality shall notify the department that the existing plan is still in effect. E. Notwithstanding subsection D of this section, all local programs shall be reviewed, revised and resubmitted to the department every 10 years after the date of last approval." 

    For groundwater permitting conservation plans:

    9 VAC 25-610-140(A)(8):

    "Ground water withdrawal permits shall be effective for a fixed term not to exceed 10 years. Permit duration of less than the maximum period of time may be recommended in areas where hydrologic conditions are changing or are not adequately known. The term of any permit shall not be extended by amendment beyond the maximum duration."

    9 VAC 25-780-50 Text
    9 VAC 25-780-140 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?

    Yes.

    For water supply plans

    9 VAC 25-780-110:

    "A. As part of a long-term strategy, a water plan shall address conservation as a part of overall water demand management in accordance with the following requirements: 1. A water plan shall include information that describes practices for more efficient use of water that are used within the planning area. The type of measures to be described may include, but are not limited to, the adoption and enforcement of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code sections that limit maximum flow of water closets, urinals and appliances; use of low-water use landscaping; and increases in irrigation efficiency. 2. A water plan shall include information describing the water conservation measures used within the planning area to conserve water through the reduction of use. The types of measures to be described may include, but are not limited to, technical, educational and financial programs. 3. A water plan shall include information that describes, within the planning area, the practices to address water loss in the maintenance of water systems to reduce unaccounted for water loss. The types of items to be described may include, but are not limited to: leak detection and repair and old distribution line replacement. B. Current conservation practices, techniques, and technologies shall be considered in projecting water demand pursuant to 9 VAC 25-780-100 D." 

    For groundwater permitting conservation plans:

    9 VAC 25-610-100(B):

    "A water conservation and management plan shall include: 1. Requirements for the use of water saving plumbing and processes including, where appropriate, the use of water saving fixtures in new and renovated plumbing as provided in the Uniform Statewide Building Code; 2. A water loss reduction program; 3. A water use education program; 4. An evaluation of potential water reuse options; and 5. Requirements for mandatory water use reductions during water shortage emergencies declared by the local governing body or director including, where appropriate, ordinances prohibiting the waste of water generally . . . ."

    9 VAC 25-610-100 Text
    9 VAC 25-780-110 Text
     
     
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 

    Only for groundwater permitting plans.

    9 VAC 25-610-110(C)(3):

    "The board shall issue a ground water withdrawal permit when it is demonstrated, by a complete application and the board's technical evaluation, to the board's satisfaction that the maximum safe supply of ground water will be preserved and protected for all other beneficial uses and that the applicant's proposed withdrawal will have no significant unmitigated impact on existing ground water users or the groundwater resource. In order to assure that the applicant's proposed withdrawal complies with the above stated requirements, the demonstration shall include, but not be limited to, compliance with the following criteria:. . . . e. The applicant provides a water conservation and management plan as described in 9 VAC 25-610-100 and implements the plan as an enforceable condition of the ground water withdrawal permit."

    9 VAC 25-780-110 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?

    State sales tax exemptions are available for energy-efficient products, which includes clothes washers and dishwashers.
     
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 

    Department of Environmental Quality 

    Water Supply Planning Program
     
  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: