State Water Planning Update
Significant effort by numerous stakeholders continues on two statewide planning efforts important to the protection of local water resources. Under the leadership of the Connecticut Water Planning Council (WPC), the effort to develop Connecticut’s first comprehensive State Water Plan has successfully advanced as the July 2017 delivery of a draft Plan draws near.
As previously reported PRWC has been an active“voice at the table” throughout the Plan development. The goal of our efforts is to effect meaningful change in the way water resources are both looked at and planned for in the future to re-balance the many competing and critical needs for water. We, along with other participants, have shared local knowledge, ideas, and concerns,and contributed to science and technology as well as policy aspects of the Plan.
One example of participant contributions is that “estimated ecological flows” required to maintain the aquatic health of rivers statewide are now included as data points within the Plan to be used for future water resource management planning.As the planning process continues,we encourage your participation in public meetings and informational sessions like the two recently held in Southbury.
We also encourage your public comments and ask for your support of the State Water Plan.
To learn more please visit www.ct.gov/water.
PRWC has also been engaged in a second significant water resource planning effort that is underway, which is the delineation of Exclusive Service Areas (ESAs) for the provision of public water supply throughout the State. ESA designations are an important planning component of the Water Utility Coordinating Committee (WUCC) work as overseen by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. ESAs can provide for an orderly plan to assure that public health related to water supply is properly accounted for.
However, there is also a risk associated with how much water is drawn from a water source to supply future ESAs. As this issue continues to be debated,PRWC is working with state and local officials to understand the potential adverse impacts. Proposed ESA’s for the are area have been reviewed and adopted by the Western WUCC membership and are now out for public comment. To learn more please visit www.ct.gov/dph/wucc.