Water Withdrawals

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Office of Water Resources implements a variety of programs aimed at protecting and restoring the state's surface waters, groundwaters and wetlands. A challenge in managing water resources is ensuring adequate quantities during dry conditions and still support desired uses, such as drinking water, habitat, irrigation and recreation.

The Department of Environmental Management authorizes withdrawals under the authority of the Clean Water Act and the Freshwater Wetlands Act. Certain activities proposed in or near State waters require prior approval from the RIDEM Water Quality Certification (WQC) Program. This approval, or "Water Quality Certification," certifies that a proposed activity complies with the State's Water Quality Regulations.


The Rhode Island Water Resources Board enabling legislation RIGL 46-15-9 and 46-15-18 Management of the withdrawal and use of the waters of the State.