On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess today called for water-resources legislation to help update the state's water plan and identify critical water-planning areas during the Hourglass Foundation's Water Forum.
"Water is one of our most precious resources, yet we know little about how much water we have and how it is used," Secretary Hess said. "With the severity of the drought in Pennsylvania, Mother Nature is giving us a critical opportunity to make deliberate, informed decisions about the future of the Commonwealth's water resources."
Secretary Hess was the featured speaker on a panel discussion of the topic, "The Future of Water Resources Begins Today."
During the forum, Secretary Hess urged the state Legislature to pass the Water Resources Conservation and Protection Act, which would update the state's water plan and identify critical water-planning areas.
"Last week, I toured nine different watershed-restoration projects with the Lancaster County Conservation District, and it was obvious the people of Lancaster care deeply about improving water quality," Secretary Hess said. "We now need to carry that concern one step further and deal with water- quantity issues."
Throughout April and May of last year, DEP held 15 water forums across the state to gain input from more than 1,700 citizens about their water-resource needs. That input is the basis of Gov. Schweiker's proposed water-resources legislative initiative, which would provide an historic opportunity to:
-- Update the state water plan;
-- Identify Critical Water Planning Areas;
-- Promote voluntary water conservation; and
-- Improve stormwater management and establish private water-well standards.
The mission of the Hourglass Foundation is to inform citizens about the issues arising from the growth and development of Lancaster County and provide both public forums and open channels of communication by connecting local people, organizations, communities and government to discuss common issues and to solve growth-related problems.
For more information on drinking water or water systems, visit DEP through the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us.