Environment
5:32 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Report: $2.9 Billion Needed For N.H. Water Infrastructure

As unseen pollutants from runoff and other sources increase, N.H.'s water bodies could increasingly be filled with choking algae.
As unseen pollutants from runoff and other sources increase, N.H.'s water bodies could increasingly be filled with choking algae.
Credit Flikr Creative Commons / stragnet

The Governor’s Water Sustainability Commission released its report Monday. The report finds numerous challenges, the biggest of which might be a lack of political will.

The commission's list of threats to NH’s water quality is lengthy: too much pavement, aging dams and public water infrastructure, increased rainfall from climate change, and so on. The report estimates over the next ten years the state will need to invest $2.9 billion to confront just the infrastructure side of these issues.

Gilbert: If this strategy is going to work it has to make its way across 25 legislative sessions and 12 and a half governors.

The commission’s chair, John Gilbert, says in writing the report he found that the public wants to protect water quality, but often is unsure of how to do it. He says the commission’s next step is to take the report to the towns, where the decisions affecting water quality – like zoning and development – are made.