Water Quality And Watershed Plan

The Land Use Unit partnered with the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council and a volunteer Advisory Committee to update the existing nonpoint source pollution management plan and create a new element of the State Guide Plan. This new Element involves consolidating and rescinding the following existing State Guide Plan Elements that had protection and restoration of water quality as primary purposes into a single document:

Water quality 2035 cover image

Water Quality 2035 stresses the ongoing need for careful management of our fresh and salt water resources. Maintaining acceptable quality and quantities of water while balancing the needs of natural systems with human activity and sustainable development can be complex. Goals and policies for the protection and restoration of water quality and aquatic habitats are proposed. Trends on water quality and aquatic habitat conditions and the current status of Rhode Island waters along with water quality impairments and threats are discussed. The Plan outlines a management approach to address the issues, details the various roles and responsibilities, and discusses priorities for water quality management. In Part 5, using watersheds as the basis for accomplishing ongoing management and the integration of planning activities is proposed. The Plan highlights 4 overarching management issues, 26 pollution sources and other stressors to aquatic habitat, and presents management policies and actions for each to achieve the clean water goals. Achieving healthy aquatic ecosystems and the Vision of the Plan will require sustained and expanded efforts to prevent and abate pollution and habitat degradation. Substantial progress has been made in our State by controlling the discharge of pollutants from sanitary and industrial wastewater. However, managing the more diffuse sources of pollution associated with human land uses, including stormwater runoff, continues to present significant challenges. As indicated in the Implementation Table in Part 7, a wide range of actions will be needed to advance progress toward the water quality goals.

Public Presentations

Advisory Committee

Meeting Notes