The purpose of the Water Resources Element (WRE) is to ensure that future county and municipal comprehensive plans reflect the opportunities and limitations
presented by local and regional water resources. WREs are intended to improve local jurisdictions’ contribution to the protection of state land and water resources; to the
protection of public health, safety and welfare; and to meeting local and state smart growth policies.
The purpose of this Models and Guidelines document is to help local
governments prepare the WRE in a manner that will not only meet the requirements of
the law but will strengthen their planning efforts by ensuring that water resources will be adequate to support smart growth while meeting local economic, environmental and land use goals.
To achieve these purposes, planning must reflect the broader geographical context of
watersheds. Successful WREs will be based on this perspective. The common goals for Maryland’s water resources are reflected in the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategies, federal and state regulatory programs and smart growth policies.
MDP encourages jurisidictions that share watersheds to enter into cooperative agreements that facilitate meeting the goals, objectives and spirit of the water resources element law.