Connecticut State Water Plan

In January 2018, the Connecticut Water Planning Council released the Connecticut State Water Plan to coordinate and improve water management in the state and address the impacts of climate change. The plan, designed for policy makers, planners, and regulators, was informed by consultation with stakeholders and drafted through consensus-based decision-making. The State Water Plan recommends policies and management strategies, prioritizes key issues for Connecticut’s water, and identify strategies for improved water management in the future. The projected impacts of climate change on Connecticut’ water was assessed and climate change projections are summarized into comprehensive data set that can be used to project water availability.

The plan was formulated in response to the state’s 2014 act, “Concerning the Responsibilities of the Water Planning Council”, which directed the council to write a comprehensive plan for management of the state’s water resources. Connecticut Governor Malloy’s Executive Order No. 66 directs the state’s Water Planning Council to immediately implement the State Water Plan - that was submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly in January 2018. The EO recommits to the definition of water as a public trust – a declaration of public policy that has been in the state statute for more than 40 years.

The 2018 state water plan includes an assessment of current conditions throughout the state in Section 2 and uses modeling to predict future conditions in Section 3. Projected climate change effects on temperature and precipitation for Connecticut are outlined, and could impact the timing of water availability and stream flows, with less snow pack and earlier melt. Adequate water supply for instream uses during the summer months is a priority concern.

Information and best practices for stakeholder participation and outreach are included in Section 4. Some of the plan’s consensus-based recommendations, outlined in Section 5, involve:

  • Praise for current conservation practices and suggestions for implementation of a public data-based water education program
  • Suggestions to reduce consumption of Class A water for non-consumptive use
  • Calling for increased focus on promotion of responsible irrigation practices in agriculture and additional support to protect lands contributing to water supply (including aquifers and private wells)
  • Incorporation of new information about ecological flow needs in the state’s streams and emphasizes the need for further study to inform Minimum Streamflow Requirements.

The Connecticut Water Planning Council, which was responsible for the state water plan, is made up of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Office of Policy and Management, and the Department of Public Health.

 

Publication Date: January 2018

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  • Assessment
  • Plans (other)

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