State revises water plan

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is launching a series of public meetings today (9/8) on how the state’s water should be used and protected. The final result could affect the next 30 years of water use. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports.

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    For several years the Department of Environmental Protection has been working on updating Pennsylvania’s 25 year old water plan. Susan Rickens, a department spokeswoman, says this version is more comprehensive.

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    Rickens: It inventories how much water we have, how much water we use, and then how much water we need. It contains lots of information that helps the state analyze problems, things associated with navigation, storm water management, flood control, as well as looks at how much water we use for things like industry, drinking water, all types of water uses.

    The statewide plan recommends assessing future water use, managing water with a variety of uses in mind, and promoting voluntary water conservation. The department hopes they will become official policy. Rickens says the department is seeking input on regional recommendations as well, and the public sessions are a last phase of implementing the plan. The sessions place over the next week in six towns — the nearest to Philadelphia is Bethlehem.

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