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89 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02888
401 780-2146

About the RI WRB

About Us


The Rhode Island Water Resources Board is an executive agency of state government charged with managing the proper development, utilization and conservation of water resources. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that sufficient water supply is available for present and future generations, apportioning available water to all areas of the state, if necessary.

The Rhode Island Water Resources Board Corporate is a quasi-public corporation separate and apart from the Board. Its primary mission is to establish public water supply facilities, lease facilities or sell water derived from those facilities. Water facilities include wells, well sites, reservoirs, transmission or distribution systems and all associated real estate interests inclusive of water supply equipment. The Board Corporate has the power to revenue bond for the purpose of carrying out the mission of the Water Resources Board.

Since 1991, the Water Resources Board and Board Corporate have jointly administered a state surcharge levied on customers located in major water supply districts. The surcharge levied on every gallon of water used by customers (with the exception of senior citizens and commercial agricultural users) is collected by the state and deposited into the General Fund and a Corporate Trust account. The money is used to offset costs of new infrastructure, to pay down debt service on bonds and to cover a proportion of agency operations associated with supply functions. By law a percentage of the surcharge is retained by the water suppliers to administer the water supply systems management planning program, 36.1% for watershed protection and 57% for the state general fund-debt service.

Goals and Strategies

This statement of goals and strategies describes the activities that the Board will undertake in the future. Some of these programs are newly underway and scheduled for execution in the next one or two years. Others may require between two and five years, depending on annual budget appropriations and availability of resources including alternative financing. Some functions of the agency are ongoing such as annual review and evaluation of programs, improvement of the management structure and automation of business processes; and legislative advocacy.

The projects are ordered according to major program area.

Water Supply Management

Supplemental Water Supply Investigations:
Big River Management Area
Washington County Well Heads

Water Supply Plan Integration with Community Comprehensive Plans

Water Facilities

Bristol County Water Authority Treatment Facility Upgrades
Statewide Emergency Interconnection Program

Regionalization of Public Water Systems

Aging infrastructure, coupled with new regulatory drinking water requirements and increased demand for supply, has spurned an effort to assess the potential benefits of consolidating and/or regionalizaing water systems. The agency will develop a plan to facilitate voluntary measures toward improving system integrity statewide. The plan will address engineering and infrastructure requirements as well as funding strategies.

Water Allocation

Long Range Planning

Public Drinking Water Protection

Information Systems

RI Water Information Network: A Joint Management of Information Systems Initiative

Currently, several state and federal agencies exercising joint purview over water collect information for research and/or resource management purposes. This program will enable joint planning and integration of computer systems. This approach will help government and users of information to operate more efficiently by eliminating data redundancy between information providers, by linking multiple databases to their respective geographic data and centralizing or sharing the maintenance and distribution points of water-related data.

Property Management (Big River Management Area)

Road and Bridge Infrastructure Replacement/Upgrade

Education & Outreach

Small Systems Assistance
Citizens Advisory Group
Water Education Program