The RI Water Resources Board (WRB) is responsible for managing the water resources of the State, including the Big River Management Area. The WRB performs scientific research of the State?s water resources, cooperating with several Federal and State agencies, while also allowing some passive recreation in the Big River Management Area. At the direction of the Chairman of the WRB, Mr. William Penn, the WRB recently increased their focus to produce water from the Big River Management Area by commissioning business and groundwater models that will ensure the production of water in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner.
The State created the Big River Management Area in the 1960?s by purchasing 8,400 acres in the Towns of West Greenwich, Coventry, Exeter and East Greenwich with the intention of building a reservoir. The Big River Reservoir plans were eventually discarded by the State in 1990 amidst concerns over potential environmental impacts.
This EBC RI Chapter Seminar will talk about the Water Resources Board plan to bring water from the Big River Management area to the local municipal water supply market. When fully operational, the sustainable water withdrawals from the new wells in Big River are estimated at approximately four (4) million gallons per day.
Kenneth Burke, P.E.
Chief of staff/general manager
Rhode Island Water Resources Board
Speakers and Topics Include:
- Kenneth Burke, Rhode Island Water Resources Board
Water Needs Facing the State of RI–Overview of the Big River Water Project
- Blake Martin, Senior Associate, Weston & Sampson
Geology and Hydrogeology of the Big River Site
- Sam Whitin, Project Manager, EA Engineering, Science, & Technology
Environmental Analysis of the Big River Site
- Alisa Richardson, RI DEM
Low Stream Flow and the Big River Water Withdrawals