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Water Resources Committee has Invaluable Task at Hand

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on October 08, 2005:

Senator Dyson We take water for granted every day. We shower, wash our dishes, our clothes and brush our teeth using water, not thinking twice about it. However, studies have shown that our aquifers may very much be overburdened. Southern Maryland is the fastest growing area in the state. This development has put a great strain on our aquifers. We need to seriously look into the issue of how much growth and development is affecting our water resources.

With this in mind, Governor Ehrlich made a wise move on May 16, 2005 when he issued an executive order re-establishing the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the Stateís Water Resources. This important committee will take a long, hard look at how (and if) our state is properly protecting our water resources, notably our aquifers.

I was pleased to be named to this committee by Senate President Mike Miller. What lies below us in our aquifers is our life blood. What we donít know about our water resources can be very harmful. It is essential we get a grasp on how to manage these resources.

The committee has been charged with many tasks. These tasks, according to the governorís executive order include:

Reviewing State, federal and local assessments of the quality and quantity of ground and surface water resources;

Reviewing regulations and policies related to the management, development, conservation and protection of ground and surface water resources;

Accessing the adequacy of existing governmental resources, regulatory enforcement and monitoring programs;

Identifying alternatives for additional sources of water supply that may be necessary to meet future water demand;

Recommending additional actions necessary to assure that the management and protection is conducted in a manner consistent with long-term sustainable use;

Identifying government and private funding mechanisms to ensure the recommended actions are appropriately implemented; and

Developing and recommending a comprehensive strategy to ensure the adequacy of the Stateís water resources to meet the current demand through 2030.

For those who donít believe this committee is vital, consider the plight of the homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps the most important item that was requested was bottled water. They werenít concerned with money as much as they were with getting water.

We can not live without water is a rather simple statement, but itís true. Southern Maryland is a wonderful place to live which is why people are moving and building here. However, without proper water resource management, we could be facing a supreme crisis. This re-established water advisory committee has an important task at hand and failure to act on the tasks we have been given is not an option.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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