The truth is that numerous recent changes to the ordinances that govern our water supply have been successful in reducing the stress to our water supply:
- Changes to the in-ground sprinkler ordinance that moved the town from an odd-even watering strategy to one where it is only permitted twice a week
- Changes to our rate structure that reward conservation of water
- Public education program
These changes have all made a difference and we, as a community, are using less water during the peak summer period when supply can truly get stressed. Peak water demand is significantly lower than the 2005 peak, but residential water demand still exceeds the 65 gallons per capita, per day goal set in the Rhode Island Water Use Efficiency Act.
New Water Service Area Designations
Additionally, changes made recently to the Town’s identified “Water Service Area”, which corresponds to locations where new water mains may be allowed, has been able to help us rein in uncontrolled growth that our water distribution system could not support. This, of course, is not to say that we should now “rest on our laurels”. The Water Department and the community need to continue our efforts and diligently act as good stewards for this, our most critical resource.