Annapolis, MD (August 8, 2008) -- Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State’s Water Resources completed its work and submitted its final report: “Water for Maryland’s Future: What We Must Do Today.” M. Gordon Wolman, Ph.D. of the Johns Hopkins University chaired the Advisory Committee. The report concludes that Maryland’s inadequate investments in water resources management have left the state without an accurate picture of the long-term viability of the State’s water resources, that demands and stresses on our water resources will increase, and that the State needs more comprehensive data to plan for the future.
The Governor expressed his appreciation for the work of Dr. Wolman and the Committee. “While Maryland has so far enjoyed safe and adequate supplies of drinking water, we cannot be complacent about the future,” said Governor O’Malley. “Projected increases in population, changes in land use, increased water use for irrigation, and the predicted effects of climate change create challenges for managing our water resources sustainably for the future.”
“The Committee’s Report will be an extremely valuable tool for the State and local governments, which have significant responsibility for planning to meet future water needs,” noted Environment Secretary Shari Wilson. “We appreciate the Committee’s recognition of the importance of State and local planning for future water supplies, because regional planning is both cost-effective and will provide the best outcome for our water supply needs.” A key recommendation of the Committee is that State and local governments coordinate on water supply planning.
Dr. Gordon Wolman said: “Water is a precious, finite resource. As the Governor has noted, our environment is changing and we must improve the management of our water resources to adapt. We have that opportunity through the implementation of the recommendations in the Report. Key to the success of that effort will be the appropriate investment in the water resources program and the acquisition and analysis of pertinent data.”
In addition, the Committee recommended that Maryland obtain the sound, comprehensive data needed to monitor and address this issue and that additional resources for staff and programs be made available. It suggested that two major hydrologic studies, the Coastal Plain Aquifer and Fractured Rock Water Supply Studies, be fully funded. Finding that the State under-invested in its water resources program in the past, the Committee estimated that an additional $72 million would be needed over the next eight years.
The Report culminates nearly five years of review and evaluation, which was initiated at the request of some seventy Maryland legislators shortly after the 2002 drought. The Executive Order creating the Advisory Committee charged it with developing and recommending a comprehensive strategy to ensure the adequacy of the State’s water resources to meet the current and projected demand for water through 2030.
The Report, a list of Committee members, and additional information about the work of the Committee is available at: Wolman Report Volume 1, Wolman Report Volume 2.