Integrating Water Supply Planning into Land Use Decision-Making

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Virginia Tech

The needed integration of water supply planning into land use decision-making may present one of the best examples of the opportunity for rational planning and the obstacles to rational planning. Constrained by economic and political realities, planners' efforts to raise the importance of water supply in the planning hierarchy often fall short. This paper reviews the steps taken towards integration in California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Drawing from these states' examples and combining them with the relevant planning literature, this paper provides minimum recommendations to increase integration, namely including a water element in local comprehensive plans and requiring a demonstration of adequate water supply before approving new development. This paper aims to serve as an impetus to further study of the planning realities surrounding an ensured future water supply.

water supply planning, land use planning