February 18, 2007

Ample water supply critical in planning

The article "Summit Wrestles with Smart Growth vs. Water" (Feb. 4) rightly highlights the critical need for long-term planning to manage water. The summit is a positive step toward solving water issues in Carroll County.

Couching the discussion as either Smart Growth or water does a disservice to the critical issues surrounding water supply in Maryland. Current policies do not force growth into rural areas. They do, though, make it essential for communities to determine whether adequate water is available before approving new growth.

Future water supply needs to be considered early in growth planning. The Maryland General Assembly recognized this last year when it required local governments to begin including water planning in comprehensive plans. This type of planning was not required for Carroll County communities in the past and is essential to avoiding these difficulties in the future.

Efforts like the summit will ensure a comprehensive solution toward water issues facing Carroll County. We look forward to continuing to work with local governments to ensure Maryland has a clean and safe water supply without sacrificing our natural resources.

Shari Wilson Acting Secretary

Maryland Department of the Environment

Richard Eberhart Hall Acting Secretary

Maryland Department of Planning

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