Perhaps the biggest driver of New Hampshire’s tourist economy is clean water. Sparkling lakes sell boats, second homes, and jet-ski rentals. But keeping that water clean means smart development. As a new bill changing how the state protects shoreland works its way through the legislature, different New Hampshire towns disagree on what exactly smart development looks like.
Come January, New Hampshire lawmakers will consider a bevy of bills dealing with the water quality of Great Bay. Some proposals confront waste-water treatment plant costs head-on, while others skirt that controversy.
The decline in the ecosystem of the Great Bay, coupled with Portsmouth, Rochester, and Dover's decision to fight the EPA over required wastewater treatment plant to upgrades is inspiring action in Concord.
The Nature Conservancy and the University of New Hampshire are working to restore oyster beds in the Great Bay. The organization hopes its efforts can help stave off an ecosystem collapse while towns in the watershed work toward upgrading their wastewater plants.
Last year, the Governor’s Water Sustainability Commission formed. Their task: to ensure the quantity and quality of our state’s water is as good or better in the next quarter century. But with increases in population, greater pollution risks and changes in weather patterns, it could be a tough task. We’ll look at the major aquatic issues facing the state and the challenges that may weight it down.
Marlene Lucien controls the hose that fills people's plastic buckets on one busy street corner in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Credit John Poole / NPR
A lone pig roots through trash dumped over the side of a sewage canal that run from the center of Port au Prince through Cite de Dieu. During the rainy season, the canal overflows its banks and fills nearby houses with sewage.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Men in the hillside village of Font de Liane in Haiti install a "chlorine box," a dispenser that adds just the right amount of chlorine to disinfect a five-gallon bucket of water. Cholera bacteria infect many streams in Haiti that people use for drinking, bathing and washing clothes.
A coalition of Great Bay area communities is suing the state and the Department of Environmental Services, claiming DES failed to follow proper rules when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.
Dover, Portsmouth, Rochester, Exeter and Newmarket claim DES violated state and federal law by not conducting a formal public process when determining water quality standards in the Great Bay.
As a result, the communities say they face unnecessary multi-million dollar wastewater treatment upgrades.