Plan and coordinate with your neighbors
Drinking water is an integral aspect of planning for municipalities. Without ample water, communities are unable to thrive, let alone exist. Integrating water resources and utility service considerations into your community’s current and future plans, policies and ordinances is essential. Following are actions your municipality can take to integrate water more holistically into community planning.
Go Include water in your community comprehensive plans
Land use decisions and future planned development directly impact local water quality, quantity and future usage. They also influence long-term infrastructure maintenance costs. Which is why incorporating water resource and service considerations within community comprehensive plans or land use plans is important. For example, large parking lots next to surface water will impact water quality as stormwater runoff that contains salt, oil, gas and litter can flow directly into drinking water sources. Likewise, different types of housing and landscaping have different impacts on drinking water usage in a community.
The scale at which community planning evaluates the approval of a development proposal must be larger than the development itself. Development generates development—once a new housing development is approved, it attracts other developments such as retail, gas stations, schools, etc. All of these will require more drinking water and more water infrastructure that needs to be maintained over time by the municipality. Incorporating these considerations and calculating the water demand impact is important to ensuring sustainable service and supplies today and in the future.