The Maryland Department of the Environment’s budget analysis includes a recommendation for local governments to fund a comprehensive study (already well underway) of the state’s water resources and supply. The recommendation specifically states:
Delete the appropriation for the Coastal Plain Aquifer Study and Fractured Rock Water Supply Study. The estimated cost is $18 million over six years, and so a one-year hiatus would extend the project to seven years. In addition, it is possible that local governments could fund this study.
The two Ground Water Studies were undertaken as a result of a 2004 report by the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State’s Water Resources identifying the need for a comprehensive assessment of ground-water resources. The original cost of the studies was estimated at $11 Million for six years and it has now increased by $7 Million as referenced in the MDE budget analysis.
MDE is opposed to the recommendation to shift the study costs to local governments.