Water Harvesting Laws by State

Alabama - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Alaska  - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Arizona - Statutes: No state statutes or regulations.

Taxes: Credit for plumbing stubouts and water conservation in place through tax year 2011. Maxiumum resident credit $1,200. Also credits for businesses covered in tax statue. The tax credit used to only give the credit to greywater systems, but now that Technical correction (HB 2103) was passed and becomes law effective September 26, 2008, the tax credit will also apply to rainwater harvesting systems. Once it takes effect, it will be retroactive to January 1, 2007.

 
Arkansas - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

California - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Colorado - Colorado is the only state I have found that still makes it against state law for some people to collect rain water, even in small amounts for personal use. However there is legislation in the works to change this.

Connecticut - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Delaware - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Florida - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Georgia - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Atlanta passed potable rainwater ordinance for single family homes.

Taxes: Georgia House Bill 1069 provides a $2,500 tax credit for approved energy and water efficiency projects. It is thought that rainwater harvesting systems may qualify for this tax credit.

Hawaii - Statutes: Passed in March 2008, a resolution requesting each county study the feasibility of launching a water conservation program that includes rainwater harvesting for non-potable water use.

Taxes: No tax incentives.

 
Idaho - Statutes: Legal to capture rainwater off roof structures and the ground as long as the rain has not entered a natural waterway. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Illinois - Statutes: SB2549 amends the Illinois Plumbing License Law. Provides that, if a unit of local government regulates rainwater harvesting systems, then those reclaimed water systems must meet specific requirements. The Department shall promulgate and publish a minimum code of standards for rainwater harvesting collection systems and rainwater harvesting distribution systems by January 1, 2010.

SB2549 called Rainwater Harvesting for Non-Potable Uses, is co-sponsored by state Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood) and state Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-Orland Park) and if passed would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop standards for rainwater capture, ensuring that rainwater could not enter the public water supply. (Current Status – Passed Senate; - House – Rules Committee)

Taxes: No known tax incentives

Indiana - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives 

Iowa - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Kansas - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Kentucky - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Louisiana - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Maine - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Maryland - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Massachusetts - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Michigan - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Minnesota - Statutes: Minnesota does not conform to UPC or IPC rules so plumbing code changes are slow to happen. Adoption of Chapter 5 of IAPMO was denied by the plumbing board in the summer of 2011. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Mississippi - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Missouri - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Montana - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Nebraska - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Nevada - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

New Hampshire- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

New Jersey- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

New Mexico - In New Mexico all water rights are appropriated by priority - first in time, first in line.

In 1907, a Territorial Water Code was created which enables water rights to be be severed from the land. The State Engineer's duty is to administer water rights throughout the state.

New Mexico has no laws or statutes dealing with the legal ownership of rainwater.

Because the state relies on prior appropriate, all water rights are already accounted for; consequently, all developers must acquire existing rights before they can proceed. This is leading to developers and builders to integrate water conservation into all new developments and in some cases the incorporation of rainwater harvesting systems for outside watering purposes. These features directly reduce the amount of water that must be acquired for a development.

Santa Fe county has enacted restrictions on developers requiring legal acquisiton of water rights, prior to approving new developments.

Statutes: There are no state government requirements for outdoor use of rainwater (3/08). However, indoor rainwater use must meet the standards for reclaimed water and will require a variance if used residentially.

Regulations apply to gray water systems and it is regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Rainwater does not fall under the definition of gray water in the state of New Mexico. According to the NMED website a NMED permit is not required on gray water system on systems less than 250 gallons per day for private residential systems as long as done in accordance with requirements outlined in the NMED Gray Water Irrigation Guide.

Taxes: Tax credit for NEW Green Buildings, which could include rainwater harvesting. For Build Green New Mexico “Gold level”, the maximum possible credit is $11,000.00 per house. For LEED for Homes, the maximum possible tax credit is $22,450.00 per house.

New York- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

North Carolina - NC Adopts Code Council IgCC Rainwater Harvest Provisions. Understanding the need for greater water conservation, the North Carolina Building Code Council recently voted to adopt an appendix to the North Carolina Plumbing Code to include an amended version of the Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems (Section 707) of the International Green Construction Code Public Version 1.0 (IgCC), developed by the International Code Council and its cooperating sponsors. The IgCC’s comprehensive section on rainwater harvest will dramatically enhance the North Carolina Plumbing Code (the International Plumbing Code with North Carolina amendments) already in use throughout the state.

The North Carolina Department of Enviornment and Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water has implement Community Conservation Assistance Program. The conservation district has created a voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on urban, suburban and rural lands, not directly involved in agricultural production. CCAP consists of educational, technical and financial assistance provided to landowners by local soil and water conservation districts.

Under this program the landowner may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the pre-established average cost of the BMP. Included in this program are Rainwater Harvesting Systems.

Statutes: NC 1385, currently under consideration, provides a tax credit for installation of a cistern, and prohibits that cities can not prohibit rainwater recovery systems.

Taxes: No known tax incentives

North Dakota - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Ohio - The State of Ohio has the most extensive rules on rainwater harvesting in the United States, with code on cistern size and material, manhole openings, outlet drains, overflow pipes, fittings, couplings, and even roof washers. Ohio’s rules also address disinfection of private water systems (Ohio, 2004).

Cisterns and stored water storage tanks must have a smooth interior surface and concrete tanks must be constructed in accordance with ASTM C913, Standard Specification for Precast Concrete Water and Wastewater Structures. Plastic and fiberglass tank materials and all joints, connections, and sealant must meet NSF/ANSI Standard 61, Drinking Water System Components.

Statutes: Regulated by the Ohio Department of Health under Sections 3701.344 to 3701.347 of the Ohio Revised Code and Chapter 3701-28 of the Ohio Administrative Code. Private Water Systems are potable water wells, ponds, springs, cisterns and hauled water storage tanks that provide drinking water to fewer than 25 people, less than sixty days out of the year, and have less than 15 service connections. These would include single water supplies that serve homes, small businesses, small churches, small mobile home parks or communities with fewer than 25 residents.

You will also need to get a permit from the local health department.

Taxes: No state tax incentives.

Oklahoma - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Oregon - In Oregon, only roof surfaces may be used for harvesting rainwater.

The City of Portland, Oregon, requires a minimum cistern capacity of 1,500 gallons capable of being filled with harvested rainwater or municipal water, with a reduced pressure backflow device and an air gap protecting the municipal supply from cross-connectio.

Statutes: Oregon's New 'Reach Code' UtilizesIAPMO's Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement. The "Reach Code," established in Senate Bill 79 (2009), requires the State of Oregon Building Codes Division to adopt a code encompassing construction methods and technology designed to increase energy and water efficiency over the mandatory codes for builders that choose to incorporate them. Chapter 7 of the code, "Water Resource Conservation and Efficiency," is based upon the 2010 IAPMO Green Plumbing and Mechanical Code Supplement, a tool designed to be used as an overlay to any building code to provide code officials with comprehensive, progressive and enforceable green provisions toward sustainable construction practices.

Taxes: No state tax incentives in place.

Pennsylvania - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Rhode Island- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

South Carolina- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

South Dakota- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives 

Tennessee- Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Texas - Statutes: A number of bills are in front of the 2011 legislature.

HB 3391 is a general rainwater bill that allows sole use of rainwater for developments and insures rainwater is viewed as a viable source of water.

HB 3327 allows indoor potable use of rainwater for public dwellings connected to a public water supply. It's companion bill in the Senate is SB 1073.

HB 645, passed by the 78th Legislature in 2003, prevents homeowners associations from banning outdoor water-conserving measures such as composting, water-efficient landscapes, drip irrigation, and rainwater harvesting installations. The legislation allows homeowners associations to require screening or shielding to obscure view of the tanks. 

Taxes: No state income tax, so no state credit available; although, some counties do offer rebates and home owner tax credits. Additionally, there is a state sales tax exemption on the purchasing of rainwater harvesting equipment. 

Utah - Statutes: Water is owned by the state. However the state passed Senate Bill 32 in 2010 which permits rainwater catchment for maximum capacity of no more than 2,500 gallons. There are several other restrictions, but the state engineer must grant the permit if all the conditions are met. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Vermont - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Virginia - Statutes: No statutes or laws regulating rainwater currently known to be in place. Taxes: No current state tax inc

Washington - Statutes: Passed the law RCW 36.89.080 that mandates the reduction in stormwater rates of at least 10% for installation of rainwater harvesting systems.

The rate a county may charge under this section for storm water control facilities shall be reduced by a minimum of ten percent for any new or remodeled commercial building that utilizes a permissive rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting systems shall be properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building. The jurisdiction shall consider rate reductions in excess of ten percent dependent upon the amount of rainwater harvested.

The Department of Ecology is amending WAC 173-152-050 to specifically authorize priority permit processing for rainwater collection systems that do not fall under the permit exemption, and creating a streamlined rainwater collection permit that references RCW 90.03.250 and combines the reservoir and secondary use permits. This permit will be available for both individuals and for regional entities (similar to the already issued Seattle regional permit and the San Juan Island-wide permits currently in process).

The city of Seattle allows rainwater harvesting and requires a permit. But the permit only applies to the parts of the city served by the combined and partially separated basins; those outside those areas cannot get "coverage" through the city's permit. The process for obtaining a permit is still in process.

Taxes: No current state tax incentive 

West Virginia - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Wisconsin - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

Wyoming - Statutes: No known statutes or laws. Taxes: No known tax incentives

 


 

US Virgin Islands - Incentives

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and other Caribbean islands (islands without large reservoirs or adequate groundwater reserves), all new construction and even building expansion must have a provision for a self-sustaining water supply system, either a well or or a rainwater collection area and cistern. The rules for private water systems in the Virgin Islands state that new cisterns must have a minimum capacity of 2,500 gallons per dwelling (Virgin Islands Code, Title 29, Public Planning and Development). The U.S. Virgin Islands specifies that cisterns for hotels or multi-family dwellings have a minimum capacity of 10 gallons per square foot of roof area for buildings of one story, and 15 gallons per square foot of roof area for multi-story buildings, although the requirement is waived for buildings with access to centralized potable water systems.

Statutes: Required for all new buildings.

Taxes: Tax

International - Incentives

Australia

Statutes: Gold Coast, Australia - Mandated rainwater tank installation on new home and business construction.

Taxes: Rebate programs in place in some locations. No known tax credits.

Canada

Statutes: No known statues

Taxes: No known tax incentives

India

Statutes: Several states have Rainwater Harvesting requirements on new construction.

Taxes: No known tax incentives

Mayalasia

Statutes: No know laws

Taxes: No known tax incentives

Pakistan

Statutes: No know laws

Taxes: No known tax incentives

United Kingdom

Statutes: Several states have Rainwater Harvesting requirements on new construction.

Taxes: 100% first year capital allowances