Why is water planning needed on the coast?
The Mid-Coast needs reliable water supplies. Although the mid-coast receives ~70 inches of rainfall annually, local communities have struggled to meet water demands in recent years. A 2008 study found that, given current supplies and infrastructure, water suppliers could have insufficient supplies by as early as 2020. Some communities already struggle to meet their water needs.
Water is critical for people, the economy, and the environment. A sufficient supply of quality water is needed for drinking water, agricultural and industrial uses and to provide adequate stream flow to sustain diverse fish and wildlife species, as well as to support commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries and tourism on the coast.
Water supply depends on timing and storage. Stream flows are lowest in the summer, when demand for drinking water, industrial water use, tourism, and recreation is highest. We need to provide enough water for all uses while ensuring sufficient stream flows for fish and wildlife.
Water quality. There is a need to expand water quality monitoring to help us better understand water quality needs and plan for improvement.
There is a need for regional water planning. Until recently, there hasn’t been a comprehensive effort to understand water supply and quality issues at the regional level using an integrated approach. The challenges we face aren’t challenges that any one entity can tackle alone. We need a larger scale, coordinated approach to water planning and management.
What water challenges are you facing? How can we work together as a region to manage current challenges and plan for the future? Learn about how you can stay informed.