Providence Water, although a department of the City of Providence, is regulated by state and federal agencies in addition to city policies and procedures. The quality of our treated drinking water is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Rhode Island Department of Health. Our revenue and rate structure is regulated by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

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Water Conservation

Demand Management

Conservation measures are needed, particularly in times of drought. Although the last time Providence Water approved any type of water restriction, a voluntary odd-even conservation plan for lawn-watering during periods of inadequate rainfall, was back in 1994, Providence Water encourages all of its customers to adhere to best management practices when it comes to water conservation.

Teaching Conservation

The objective of the PWSB in teaching conservation is to provide information and educational opportunities to watershed residents in order to reduce non-point source pollution loading to the Scituate Reservoir.

This objective is achieved via the following:

  1. Make presentations in all elementary schools
  2. Offer a national watershed protection curriculum to middle school teachers
  3. Hold annual poster contests for grades 3 - 8
  4. Offer workshops for homeowners
  5. Provide new homeowners with a "welcome wagon" package of information
  6. Increase media coverage for pertinent events
  7. Offer training to municipal officials in watershed protection
  8. Publish and distribute a newsletter for business owners


In 1993, the PWSB initiated a campaign to encourage consumers not to take clean drinking water for granted. To educate customers, inserts into quarterly water bills showed simple water-saving techniques that anyone could use in the bathroom, kitchen and around the yard. Free water-saving devices started to be distributed to customers in 1989, so people could retrofit their own plumbing system. Historically, Providence Water has offered tours to various schools and civic groups wanting to learn more about their water supply. Since 1994, roughly 30,000 watershed residents have benefited from this program. The increased interest is, without a doubt, due to a greater awareness of the importance of environmental issues, water quality, and conservation.