WPC: State Water Plan

State Water Planning Process
Public Act 14-163 instructed the Water Planning Council to develop a State Water Plan for the management of the water resources of the state.  The statute requires such plan to balance the needs of public water supply, economic development, recreation, and ecological health.
In developing such state water plan, the Water Planning Council shall:
  1. Design a unified planning program and budget
  2. Consider regional water and sewer facilities plans
  3. Identify the appropriate regions of the state for comprehensive water planning
  4. Identify the data needs and develop a consistent format for submitting data to the council, applicable state agencies and regional councils of government for use in planning and permitting
  5. Consider the potential impact of climate change on the availability and abundance of water resources and the importance of climate resiliency
  6. Seek involvement of interested parties
  7. Solicit input from the advisory group established pursuant to section 25-33o, as amended by this act
  8. Consider individual water supply plans, water quality standards, stream flow classifications, as described in regulations adopted pursuant to section 26-141b, water utility coordinating committee plans, the state plan of conservation and development, as described in section 16a-30, and any other planning documents deemed necessary by the council
  9. Promote the adoption of municipal ordinances based on the State of Connecticut Model Water Use Restriction Ordinance for municipal water emergencies
  10. Examine appropriate mechanisms for resolving conflicts related to the implementation of the state water plan
Additionally, PA 14-163 specifies that the State Water Plan fulfill the following 17 requirements:
  1. Identify the quantities and qualities of water that are available for public water supply, health, economic, recreation and environmental benefits on a regional basin scale considering both surface water and groundwater
  2. Identify present and projected demands for water resources on a state-wide and regional basin scale
  3. Recommend the utilization of the state's water resources, including surface and subsurface water, in a manner that balances public water supply, economic development, recreation and ecological health
  4. Recommend steps to increase the climate resiliency of existing water resources and infrastructure
  5. Make recommendations for technology and infrastructure upgrades, interconnections and such major engineering works or special districts which may be necessary, including the need, timing and general cost thereof
  6. Recommend land use and other measures, including an assessment of land acquisition or land protection needs, where appropriate to ensure the desired quality and abundance of water and to promote development in concert with available water resources
  7. Take into account desired ecological, recreational, agricultural, industrial and commercial use of water bodies
  8. Inform residents of the state about the importance of water resource stewardship and conservation
  9. Establish conservation guidelines and incentives for consumer water conservation with due consideration for energy efficiency
  10. Develop a water reuse policy with incentives for matching the quality of the water to the use
  11. Meet data collection and analysis needs to provide for data driven
    water planning and permitting decisions
  12. Take into account the ecological, environmental, public health and safety and economic impact that implementation of the state water plan will have on the state
  13. Include short and long-range objectives and strategies to communicate and implement the plan
  14. Seek to incorporate regional and local plans and programs for water use and management and plans for water and sewerage facilities in the state water plan
  15. Promote intra-regional solutions and sharing of water resources
  16. Develop and recommend strategies to address climate resiliency including the impact of extreme weather events
  17. Identify modifications to laws and regulations that are necessary
    in order to implement the recommendations of the state water plan

Planning Timeline
  • Fall 2014/Winter 2015: Initiation and Organization
  • Spring/Summer 2015: Scoping & Direction
    • Held a one-day State Water Planning Workshop at UCONN to officially "kick-off" the public water planning process
    • Finalized the memberships and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, Policy Workgroup, and Science & Technical Workgroup; such groups began meeting regularly
    • Investigated and evaluated procurement options for writing a State Water Plan
  • Fall 2015/Winter 2016: Preparation
    • WPC executed an MOU with NEIWPCC for the purpose of providing management assistance to the WPC in the hiring and oversight of a contractor to develop and compile a State Water Plan pursuant to the requirements of P.A. 14-163
    • WPC increased communication and outreach efforts by launching a website dedicated to state water planning
    • Project manager Thomas Callahan announces he is available to continue providing project management services on a volunteer basis at the discretion of the WPC
    • The "Qualifications Review Committee," a subset of the Steering Committee, worked under the direction of NEIWPCC to draft a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the development of a State Water Plan.  The RFQ was released on 02/09/2016.
  • Spring/Summer/Fall 2016: Research & Alternatives Development
    • Policy and Science & Technical workgroups continue to collect technical information and research to advise the Steering Committee
    • Responses to the RFQ for the development of a State Water Plan were evaluated by the Steering Committee 
    • CDM Smith was selected by the Steering Committee as the contractor to develop the State Water Plan, in consultation with the Steering Committee and NEIWPCC
    • A work contract including scope of work, schedule, and budget, was negotiated between CDM Smith and the Steering Committee, through NEIWPCC
    • CDM Smith begins Phase I of its work contract, involving statewide data collection and analysis.
    • Steering Committee prepares positions regarding critical issues based on guidance from Policy and Science & Technical workgroups
    • With consultant services in place, work begins on drafting the State Water Plan
  • Winter/Spring 2017
    • The public is increasingly engaged in the planning process through a series of workshops
    • State Water Plan continues to be drafted and revised with input from all stakeholders
    • Final State Water Plan is prepared as a draft for official public comment and review period
  • Summer/Fall 2017
    • Public review period; final plan prepared for submission to General Assembly
  • Winter 2018
    • State Water Plan submitted to General Assembly for legislative consideration and approval.  Plan follows the legislative approval process outlined in PA 14-163
    • The General Assembly debated the State Water Plan but did not act on it during session
  • Fall 2018
    • Water Planning Council resubmits the State Water Plan to the General Assembly for consideration during the 2019 legislative session, in accordance with PA 14-163
  • Spring 2019
    • The State Water Plan has been approved by the Connecticut General Assembly, passing the House and Senate on June 4 and June 5, 2019, respectively.  Implementation of recommendations in the Plan has begun.

Content Last Modified on 7/23/2019 6:24:25 PM