Rainwater Harvesting Regulations Map

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Rainwater collection is currently regulated by individual states. There was no centralized information source on state-level regulations on rainwater harvesting maintained by a federal agency. To fill this information gap, the Federal Energy Management Program compiled state-level information and provided it in this map tool.

How to Use the Map

This map gives federal agencies key information on how rainwater is regulated across the U.S. to help them make strategic decisions on where to implement rainwater harvesting projects. 

The map ranks the states based on level of rainwater harvesting regulations, using the following categories:

  • Very Limited: The state has limited exemptions available for legal implementation of rainwater harvesting

  • Not Illegal/No Regulations: No regulations are in place prohibiting rainwater harvesting. The state generally has no information regarding rainwater harvesting

  • No Regulations/Encouraged: No regulations are in place prohibiting rainwater harvesting. State-specific rainwater harvesting technical resources are available to encourage use, such as handbooks and guidelines on rainwater harvesting systems

  • State Regulations: Regulations are in place allowing rainwater harvesting; however, no specific technical resources or incentives are provided

  • State Regulations/Encouraged: Regulations are in place allowing rainwater harvesting, and state-specific technical resources are available to encourage the collection and use of rainwater

  • State Regulations/Incentives: Regulations are in place allowing rainwater harvesting, state incentive programs are in place, and state-specific technical resources are available.

The map also provides regulatory and technical information about each state where applicable, offering a “hover over” feature that allows the user to click on a state of interest to see: 

  • A summary of that state’s regulations
  • Links to the state’s regulatory programs that govern rainwater harvesting
  • Links to technical resources on state-specific rainwater harvesting.

The technical resources provided by states often target homeowners but generally commercial applications are applicable and allowed. The information in the map is only for statewide regulations. Counties and cities across the U.S. may have specific regulations for rainwater harvesting. Therefore, it is crucial to contact local authorities when considering implementation of rainwater harvesting systems.

Additional Resources

  • To learn about the methods used to develop this map, read the report by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • For more information about state rainwater harvesting laws and regulations, visit this National Congress of State Legislators web page.