HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Today the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released the draft 2022 Pennsylvania State Water Plan, which identifies regional and statewide water resources priorities and recommends statewide and legislative actions to address those priorities.

Pennsylvanians are invited to review the draft plan, as well as provide comments on it.

“The Pennsylvania State Water Plan is a powerful tool for all Pennsylvanians working in a professional or volunteer capacity to manage or protect our waters,” said DEP Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “I thank the many committee volunteers who shared their expertise to develop this robust draft plan, and encourage everyone to review it and share their thoughts. Public participation is critical to finalizing a plan that sustains Pennsylvania’s invaluable water resources.”

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The DEP collaborates with regional committees and a statewide committee to prepare the Pennsylvania State Water Plan, which is required by the state Water Resources Planning Act of 2022. This plan is in place to help legislative, governmental, industry, and community leaders make informed decisions regarding water resources. There are recommendations included from experts to inform policies, programs, and projects related to water availability, infrastructure investment, water resource protection, health and safety, and climate change adaptation.

Comments on the draft 2022 State Water Plan are welcomed by the DEP and can be made online here. The deadline for comments is September 19, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

There are six water planning regions in Pennsylvania and the 2022 State Water Plan recommends that over 100 actions are continued, expanded on, or initiated in flood control, storm water management, water withdrawal, legacy coal mining impacts, legacy oil and gas wells, drinking water and wastewater treatment, contaminant of emerging concern, and agricultural nonpoint source pollution.

The draft 2022 State Water Plan ties a number of water management and protection recommendations to climate change mitigation and adaptation recommendations in the 2018 and 2021 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plans.

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The 2022 State Water Plan outlines an implementation path that includes continued committee involvement. This will be focused on outreach and education efforts, promoting the plan’s legislative priorities, and establishing measurable outcomes to target going forward.