June 15, 2018

Gov. Malloy activates CT’s first water plan

Photos | Contributed
Photos | Contributed
Killingworth Reservoir is among 253 in-state reservoirs and wells Connecticut Water Service Inc. taps to provide potable water to about one in 10 Connecticut residents.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed an executive order that activates Connecticut's first water plan.

Malloy said Thursday the plan aims to balance public water supply, economic development, recreation and ecological health.

The plan was developed by the Water Planning Council, which includes members from the state Department of Public Health, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Office of Policy and Management and Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The Water Planning Council is also assigned to implement the program.

State lawmakers did not vote on the water plan during this year's legislative session, as opponents questioned a provision in it that declares water as a public trust.

The Connecticut Water Works Association has argued that labeling water as a public trust could limit the pool of water sources available to water utilities. Meantime, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association said it is concerned about the broad, unresolved interpretations of the 47-year-old state statute that stipulated air, land and water as public trusts.

Malloy's executive order signals his support for the controversial definition.

"The State Water Plan is a critically important initiative that puts the needs of Connecticut families ahead of the commercial interests of private water utility companies and big businesses," the governor said. "We should all be able to agree that water is a precious resource that should be protected for the public's interest and safeguarded for future generations in the event of emergencies."

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