ICPRB Publishes the Potomac River Basin Comprehensive Water Resources Plan

One Basin, One Future: ICPRB Promotes a Sustainable Water Future

New report addresses water resources in the Potomac River basin for today, tomorrow, and the future.

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin is proud to announce the publication of the Potomac River Basin Comprehensive Water Resources Plan.  The Plan addresses issues of ensuring reliable drinking water supplies, improving water quality and ecological health, and sustainable land use management as it relates to water resources.  It was compiled using a collaborative process that engaged diverse stakeholders that included representatives from different levels of government, regions of the basin, water use sectors, and nongovernmental organizations, and it recommends actions that each stakeholder group can take.

The Plan builds on existing state and local efforts and is intended to complement those efforts by paying particular attention to water resource issues of interstate- and/or basin-wide significance.  It serves as a guide to the status of water resources in the basin and provides a basis for deciding how the needs of one water use can be accommodated while still providing for other uses.  The report’s recommendations include greater information sharing, improved data collection, greater coordination among user groups, and identification of common goals.

The ICPRB will use the Plan to set priorities for its activities in coming years and hopes those activities will be a catalyst for the Plan’s implementation in collaboration with other stakeholders and the public.  Looking ahead, ICPRB expects to periodically evaluate basin wide progress toward a vision of the Potomac River basin as a national model for water resources management that fulfills human and ecological needs for current and future generations.

The comprehensive planning effort was partially built on nearly five decades of experience working with Washington Metropolitan Area water suppliers to provide a safe, reliable water supply system for the region during extreme droughts without stressing the Potomac River, the major source of drinking water. The successful system has been continually enhanced through regular studies of demand, alternative water sources, threats to source water, and possible effects of climate change on the system. These experiences in cooperative research and decision-making have informed the water resources comprehensive plan.

“The Potomac basin has a history of collaborative efforts among the basin states. The Potomac River Basin Comprehensive Water Resources Plan can serve as a common platform for analyzing and prioritizing the efforts that can serve the public’s many interests while preserving the resource into the future,” said ICPRB Executive Director Carlton Haywood.