Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today named 12 of 18 members to the Statewide Water Resources Committee that will help Pennsylvania make further progress in water resource management and conservation.
The committee was created under the Water Resources Planning Act (Act 220 of 2002), which requires the Department of Environmental Protection to develop a State Water Plan over the next five years.
"Water is a strategically important resource that can provide a competitive advantage in helping Pennsylvania attract and retain businesses and jobs," Governor Rendell said. "All of these members will work to devise a plan that protects the environment, keeps residents healthy and helps fuel the economy."
The 18-member statewide committee will have 12 members appointed by the governor and six members appointed by the House and Senate. The House and Senate selections will be drawn from six regional committees created in October. The regional committees represent the Delaware, Ohio, Lake Erie and Genesee, Potomac, Upper and Middle Susquehanna and Lower Susquehanna basins.
Developing a State Water Plan is a collaborative process designed to answer basic questions such as how much water Pennsylvania has, uses and needs. The plan will provide up-to-date information on water availability, an assessment and projection of water use and future demands on a watershedbasis, identification of critical water planning areas where water demands are projected to exceed available water supplies, and the development of critical area resource plans for these area.
The regional committees will compile and review water-use data, take public comment, identify where existing and potential water-use conflicts and water quality issues may occur and create recommendations for the State Water Plan. The statewide committee will have a formal review and approval role of the updated water plan.
The following six members were appointed by the Governor to represent water user groups, including agriculture, conservation districts, industrial and commercial enterprises, mining, energy development and production and public water supply:
• George Wolfe - Agriculture, Energy
• Susan Fox - Conservation Districts
• Gerald Feldman - Industrial/Commercial
• Gary Merrit - Mining, Energy
• Nick DeBenedictis - Public Water Supply, Energy
• Rich Subasic - Public Water Supply
The following six members were appointed by the Governor to represent local government, environmental and conservation interests, and professions relating to water resources management:
• Jan Bowers - Water Resources Authority
• David Mandelbaum - Environmental Law
• Rep. Camille "Bud" George - Local Government and Environmental Interests
• Rep. Kate Harper - Local Government and Environmental Interests
• William Nichols - Municipal Water Authority
• Jim McKenzie - Conservation and Watershed restoration