Guided by Maryland State Law and COMAR, each county and Baltimore City is required to prepare, adopt, and annually maintain, a 10-year forecasted Water and Sewerage Plan to demonstrate how safe and adequate water and sewerage facilities will be provided to support planned redevelopment and new growth, outlined in their adopted Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Because of the important role that water and sewerage facilities share with respect to Smart Growth, MDP has focused on enhancing the relationships between development and water and sewerage facilities, by strengthening its relationship with MDE. As well, MDP supports each County for the care and maintenance of its Water and Sewerage Plan and its coordination with the local comprehensive plan land use goals and recommendations. Each year, the Department reviews and comments on approximately 100 Water and Sewerage Plan revisions, updates, and amendments.
The water and sewerage plan must be approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment. MDP is mandated to advise the MDE concerning the consistency of these water and sewerage plans and plan amendments with the local comprehensive plans and other development related policies and programs. More recently, HB 1141 added significantly to the importance of water resource management and growth related impacts to the efforts of preserving our waterways and the Chesapeake Bay through the requirement of new Comprehensive Plan elements. As part of this process, the Department provides technical assistance and planning guidance to local governments, where requested, to help in the preparation of these plans.
Previous droughts and tightening sewerage treatment requirements have underscored the significance of sound long range planning for adequacy of drinking water and wastewater facilities on growth related demands and environmental impacts. These events have spawned several committees and studies directed at improving current management and long range planning. Both MDE and MDP have been active and contributing members of these committees. All of these groups are making recommendations which point out the need to both improve current management and provide long range planning for delivery of safe and adequate water and sewerage services. MDP expects to play a continuing role in the development of the recommendations of these committees.
- Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State's Water Resources.
- Water Security and Sewerage Systems Advisory Council
- Interagency Technical Assistance Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems
- Water Capacity Task Force
- Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee