Reducing Water Demand

Advancing Sustainable Urban Water Management Through State Policy: State Water Policy & Program Database

Welcome to the State Water Policy & Program Database. This database highlights several notable and exemplary state water policies and programs from around the country related to three issue areas: urban water conservation, water reuse and land use & water integration.

  • We recommend you use Firefox or Internet Explorer.
  • Select your search criteria using the filter dropdown boxes and/or keyword search.
  • See details about your selected polices by hovering over the Brief Description or by clicking on the “Selected Policies (Print View)” tab (above the search boxes).
Generate a PDF of selected policies.
  1. Go to “Selected Policies (Print View)” tab.
  2. Click the “Download” button at bottom of
  3. Select PDF for the file format.
  4. Under the “Include” dropdown, select “Specific sheets from this dashboard.”
  5. Click on the “Policy Details” (which will become greyed out with a check mark).
  6. Click “Create PDF” and the PDF will be downloaded.

This work is made possible through a grant from the Gates Family Foundation.

The database content and design was developed by the following individuals:

  • John Berggren, Western Resource Advocates
  • Amelia Nuding, Western Resource Advocates
  • Abby Kuranz, Western Resource Advocates
  • Colton Richard, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Bridget Gibbons, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

Numerous water efficiency policies in this database stemmed from two reports developed by the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and we are grateful for their contributions to this field:

  • The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws (2017)
  • State-Level Water Efficiency and Conservation Laws in the Colorado River Basin (2018)

This website was reviewed by several external stakeholders during its development, as well as an advisory committee who lent their time and expertise to help guide the development of this project.  We are very grateful for the thoughtful contributions from these advisory committee members:

  • Bill Christiansen, Director of Programs, Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • Caleb Schhrank, Active Management Area Data & Planning Manager, Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Candice Hasenyager, Assistant Director of Planning, Utah Division of Water Resources
  • Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director, WaterNow  Alliance
  • Einav Henenson, Statewide Area Director, Active Management Areas, Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Greg Fogel, Policy Director, WateReuse
  • Jim Holway, Director, The Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy
  • Kevin Reidy, State Water Conservation Specialist, Colorado Water Conservation Board
  • Mary Ann Dickenson, President and CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • Maureen Hodgins, Research Manager, The Water Research Foundation

This database focuses on three issue areas:

  • Water conservation/efficiency – The reduction of water use or water loss in municipal settings through technology requirements, planning, permitting, reporting, and goal setting.
  • Water reuse – The promotion of recycled water – non-potable and potable – through regulations, planning, permitting, reporting, and goal setting.
  • Land Use & Water Integration – The integration of water planning, reuse, conservation, and other considerations into the land use planning process.

The purpose of this database is to provide examples of state policies that support the development of these three sustainable water topics at the local and state levels. This is not intended to be a complete list of every policy in every state.

Notable and exemplary policies have been selected by Western Resource Advocates in consultation with numerous industry experts (see Acknowledgements section). We define notable and exemplary policies as those that:

  • Require or incentivize standards/regulations beyond status quo;
  • Require a high degree of specificity and accountability in planning and reporting processes;
  • Utilize the latest and most scientifically robust nomenclature and methods;
  • Apply to all or a large number of entities within a state or given region;
  • Require coordination between key stakeholders or agencies;
  • Are supported by a substantial financial commitment or technical assistance by the state;
  • Improve knowledge and awareness through large scale data (collection/analysis).

This work is funded by a generous grant from the Gates Family Foundation.

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