Speak Up to Protect Our Water
The first comprehensive water plan for the state of Connecticut is now available in draft form for public comment. Your views can help our state and your neighborhood to have a healthy water future. Your silence would be an opportunity lost.
This website is intended to help you understand how the plan may affect you and how you can make your voice heard.
Who owns the water?
The water belongs to you.
Each resident of Connecticut is an owner of the state’s water resources. The water in rivers, lakes, springs, wetlands, and tidal regions is a public trust resource: the state holds it in trust for the public, and water management must be in the public interest.
Why do we need a water plan?
In order to fulfill the state's public trust responsibilities, in 2014 the state legislature directed the Water Planning Council to write a comprehensive Water Plan.
This list of recurring conflicts are the major reasons why lawmakers and the governor decided that Connecticut needed a plan:
- Intermittent serious droughts and no effective program for managing water during a drought
- Conflicting policies for water conservation
- Protests and legal challenges to the status quo control of water, especially the apparent legal right to dry up rivers and aquifers
- Disagreements over who is responsible to serve localities that need additional water.
- Protests over projects and plans involving selling water out of the region or out of the state
- Challenges to our water standards. (For example, Connecticut has a uniquely high standard for drinking water, but high quality sources are limited and expensive to access.)
- Weak protections for those who rely on private wells. These people, about one-third of Connecticut residents, have few if any safeguards against contamination or loss of quantity as a result of water pumping or other activities nearby
- Complaints and concerns over uses of water that some feel are wasteful or wrong. Should potable water be used to irrigate golf courses or cool power plants as is done now? Are for-profit sales of water always in the public interest? Can water uses be defined as good or bad? If so, who decides?
The Plan does not provide final answers for these questions; however, it provides essential information on how water management works now, summarizing in one document our water policies, programs, and authorities. It describes possible ways forward toward goals that a wide range of water users agree upon.
NOW IS THE TIME THE PLAN CAN BE MADE STRONGER.
Or it can be muddied. Comments are due November 20.
If a water source or cold trout stream is important to you, see if this plan will protect that water.
You can contact Rivers Alliance or Connecticut Fund for the Environment with any question relating to the plan. Please read comments from CFE and Rivers Alliance regarding water conservation in the Plan.
Let's take a dip
Read a brief overview with the one page summary of the proposed state water plan.
Learn a bit more with this 20 page summary.