Last month, Citizens Energy Group announced plans to develop a 2.7 billion gallon Citizens Reservoir in an effort to meet the growing demands on the region’s future water supply.
Citizens cited recent studies that indicate the region needs an additional 50-80 million gallons of water per day in order to meet the metro’s 25-year projected demands. According to Citizens, the new reservoir will provide up to 25-million gallons per day of additional water that can be used during the summer months across their eight-county service area.
In 2010, the Indy Chamber led a study of the region’s water supply, recognizing that a regional approach to water management is imperative to meet the growing demands on the resource. Data from the Indiana Business Research Center projects the Indy metro to see a population growth of 43 percent from years 2010 to 2040. Recognizing this projected population growth, variable weather conditions, and water-quality degradation in central Indiana require skilled management of our regional resources, the Indy Chamber continues to closely monitor this issue today.
Central Indiana’s regional water supply has, so far, kept up with demands. However, future supply limitations are likely masked by a lack of knowledge about regional supplies, demands, and impacts. Long-term planning based on efficient use and a regional approach to managing finite water supplies will improve the region’s economic opportunities, promote continued regional growth, and help secure central Indiana’s future.
While the state has created a valuable water use database, little has been done with this information. States around Indiana have struggled to contain the effects that accompanied recent water shortages, therefore, central Indiana needs to systematically plan for what is certain to occur here - an increase in water demand when there is a short or long - term decrease in supplies.
Among the recommendations laid out in the study are:
- Developing a regional conservation strategy
- Creating a regional water consortium to protect supplies
- Develop a regional water management plan
Take a look at these and more recommendations from our 2010 study of Central Indiana’s Regional Water Supply. And stay tuned for more action on this issue as it remains a top legislative priority for the Indy Chamber.
For more information on this and other legislative priorities contact Mark Fisher, VP of Government Relations & Policy Development at .