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Pennsylvania's Adopted Budget Includes DRBC Funding For State Water Resource Planning

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2004

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) - The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) today announced that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's 2004-05 fiscal year budget recently signed into law by Governor Edward G. Rendell includes $250,000 for the commission to help fulfill key components of the state water plan now under development.

"The opportunity for the DRBC to provide this important water resources planning assistance would not have been possible without the valuable support of many legislators, especially Senator Stewart Greenleaf and Representative Dave Steil who led the efforts to obtain the necessary state funding," DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier said.

The funding was included as a line item in the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) budget. The detailed work plan to be finalized between DRBC and DEP will include the task of developing and refining water supply and demand reports on a more detailed watershed basis based on an evaluation of the water resources of the Pennsylvania portion of the Delaware River Basin.

"Understanding future water demand is vital to ensuring an adequate and reliable water supply for all users of the resource," Collier added.

A related initiative likely to be included in the work plan is the development of baseline data to help identify potential critical water planning areas.

The funding also will allow the DRBC to construct a water demand model to assess alternative water conservation programs and their impacts on projected growth trends. "The commission has a wealth of experience and expertise in developing and administering water conservation policies that will be of benefit to DEP as it establishes its Water Resources Technical Assistance Center," Collier said.

The objectives of the State Water Plan, required by the Water Resources Planning Act of 2002 or Act 220, are to assure adequate supplies of water to present and future users, conserve water and land resources, and to utilize the water resources toward sustaining the Commonwealth’s social, economic, and environmental future.

The DRBC was formed in 1961 by compact among the four basin states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware) and the federal government. Commission programs include water quality protection, watershed planning, water supply allocation, regulatory review, water conservation initiatives, drought management, flood control and recreation. The creation of the commission marked the first time in our nation's history that the federal government and a group of states joined together as equal partners in a river basin planning, development, and regulatory agency.

For more information about the commission and its activities, visit the DRBC’s web site at www.drbc.net.

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Clarke Rupert, (609) 883-9500 ext. 260

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