Water is crucial to life – whether directly for humans to drink or as necessary resources for plants and animals. In Maryland we need to protect the waters we will clean for human use and the waters (rivers, bays) that produce edible wildlife – with the Chesapeake Bay as our obviously largest resource. Nationwide, the LWV has studied and taken positions on water issues since the 1950s.
The status of Chesapeake Bay restoration. Maryland has a phase III Watershed Implementation Plan aiming to achieve statewide nutrition and sediment pollution reduction goals by 2025. The state still needs to be wary of ongoing and future effects of climate change, population growth, and water pollution. Will planning and funding in this and future years be adequate in this regard? And how will the cooperation of other states with waters entering the Bay affect our goals (e.g., Pennsylvania continues to underfund in this area)?
Two areas Maryland has particularly depended on so far are wastewater treatment facilities and agricultural practices. Governor Hogan has proposed the passage of 2022 legislation to create a public-private financing mechanism for certain conservation projects. Some environmental groups are concerned whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide sufficient oversight to ensure the state uses the funding it gets from the U.S. and other sources to achieve pollution reduction goals.
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