Basin-wide Comprehensive Plan

Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin


This plan provides a roadmap to achieving our shared vision that the Potomac river basin will serve as a national model for water resources management that fulfills human and ecological needs for current and future generations. The plan will focus on sustainable water resources management that provides the water quantity and quality needed for the protection and enhancement of public health, the environment, all sectors of the economy, and quality of life in the basin. The plan will be based on the best available science and data. The ICPRB will serve as the catalyst for the plan’s implementation through an adaptive process in collaboration with partner agencies, institutions, organizations, and the public.


More than 6-million people and diverse ecosystems depend on the interstate water resources of the Potomac basin. Responsible management of this resource will require collaborative planning that bridges political boundaries. An adaptive basin-wide comprehensive water resources plan serves as a roadmap for the sustainable use of this interstate resource now and into the future. To proactively address the water resources issues within an adaptive management framework, the time to act is now.


Development of a comprehensive plan is expected to proceed in five phases with ongoing stakeholder participation throughout the process:

  1. Scoping;
  2. Compilation and assessment of water resources challenges;
  3. Identification of practical, implementable solutions;
  4. Preparation of a plan document; and
  5. Regular review and revision of the plan for successful implementation.

How will ICPRB use this Plan?

Addressing water resources challenges is necessarily a collaborative effort between ICPRB, state, federal, and local agencies, as well as citizens.  The plan will help ICPRB select the issues it should focus on and apply its limited resources in future years.


Advisory Committee

Stakeholder participation is essential for the successful development and implementation of the comprehensive water resources plan for the basin. As one step in the stakeholder participation process, the plan’s advisory committee provides input on the plan’s development. The advisory committee, facilitated by Policy Works LLC, is comprised of about two dozen diverse stakeholders representing various interests and geographic regions. The fifth advisory committee meeting was held September 8, 2017 via teleconference. The sixth advisory committee meeting was held November 8, 2017 at ICPRB’s office building. The seventh advisory committee meeting was held March 1, 2018 at ICPRB’s office building

Click here for more information on the Advisory Committee. 

Draft Introductory Sections

ICPRB developed draft introductory sections of the comprehensive plan as a way to generate discussion amongst the advisory committee and other basin stakeholders. The draft includes information about the planning process, a description of the basin, and a preliminary list of basin-wide and/or interstate water resources challenges in the Potomac basin.  The advisory committee recently used the preliminary challenges as a starting point to develop the priority water resource challenges.


As part of the initial scoping, a description of the comprehensive planning effort was presented at the 2011 American Water Resources Association Summer Specialty Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management in Snowbird, Utah.

To get involved:

Contact Dr. Heidi Moltz for additional information, with questions, or to get involved.