to develop water-conservation plan by 2008 Garry
Lenton The Patriot-News
It took 20 years
to accomplish, but Pennsylvania now has a law that will
require it to develop a statewide strategy to conserve
The Water Resources
Planning Act, signed by Gov. Mark Schweiker on Monday,
will require those who use an average 10,000 gallons of
water a day over 30 days to tell the state how much they
use and where they draw the water from.
This is a new
requirement for water users in the Ohio, Great Lakes and
Potomac basins. The law is a first step in determining
how much water the state has, who is using it and where
it is being taken from.
The data gathered
over the next five years will be used to determine where
water is in short supply; how land-use regulations should
be changed to protect watersheds; and prepare drought
puts in place a planning process the public told us was
needed," Schweiker said.
The law establishes
a 21-member State Water Advisory Board and six 18-member
regional advisory boards. Those bodies will be responsible
for developing a state conservation plan by 2008.
The measure was
derided by nearly all of the major environmental groups
in Pennsylvania because it gives the state advisory board
veto power over the plan.
Pennsylvania's Future, The Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Environmental
Council, Clean Water Action and others opposed the bill.
The measure drew
tacit approval from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, but
only after Executive Director Matthew J. Ehrhart expressed
disappointment about its shortcomings in a letter to Department
of Environmental Protection Secretary David Hess.
believe ... [changes] need to be made in order to have
a more effective and environmentally protective bill,
CBF believes that the need to get started on updating
the state water plan is paramount and we do not oppose
the current legislative efforts. ...," Ehrhart wrote.
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