Leaders of a blue-ribbon task force testified before the Appropriations Committee’s Conservation and Development Subcommittee last week to promote the group’s ideas on how to establish a Connecticut State Water Plan. 

The testimony, which should serve as a concept for possible legislation, sets up how a comprehensive state water plan could be developed and brought to the legislature for approval by 2017. It follows the task force’s intensive review and discussion of many water-related issues among stakeholders and other elected officials. 

CBIA has been participating in this statewide effort, which stems from a State Water Summit last fall, to make sure that Connecticut always has adequate supplies of high-quality water.  

Specific Recommendations

The task force recommends increasing staffing at the state’s existing Water Planning Council (WPC), housed in the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), by four full-time analysts.

The analysts would be responsible for creating a single water planning document to be shared by all state water regulators, including the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Public Utility Regulatory Authority, and OPM.   

The WPC would complete by Jan. 1, 2017, a plan to include a water re-use policy, conservation guidelines, incentives for consumer water conservation, protocols for data collection and analysis, and identification of needed technology and infrastructure upgrades and the estimated costs of the upgrades.

Plan Approval Process

Final approval of the water plan would be in the hands of the legislature, specifically the Environment, Public Health, Planning & Development, and Energy and Technology committees. Each committee would hold a joint hearing and approve the plan before sending it to the full House and Senate for final approval.

For now, until legislation is proposed, these recommendations remain in the legislative concept stage.

For more information, contact Faith Gavin Kuhn at faith.gavinkuhn@cbia.com.