Thursday, March 26, 2009

DEP Secretary Signs New State Water Plan

Five years of public meetings and analytical research have culminated in the passing of a new state water plan, which will outline a prudent allocation of the state's water resources for the next 15 years. The last update of the plan was in 1983 -- prompting state lawmakers to demand a new one in a 2002 legislation. Environmental Protection acting Secretary John Hanger says the goal of the DEP was to help Pennsylvanians with different wants and needs reach a compromise. "Each region came to the table with its own priorities -- protecting drinking water supplies, creating jobs, avoiding devastating floods... but the statewide committee was able to craft a document that takes into account these many conflicting priorities and demands," says Hanger. Executive Director of the DEP's Water Planning Office John Hines says a new water plan was needed not only to address changes that have occurred in the past 25 years, but to look forward to challenges the future may present. "We don't want to get in a situation like California, Georgia, or Alabama... where they have been coupled with year after year of serious drought and their water resources are depleted," says Hines. To take a look at the state water plan, visit the DEP's website and select "State Water Plan," under the Hot Topics menu.

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