Dependable drinking water supplies are essential for the health and social well being of all Ohioans. Adequate water supplies are also important to ensure economic growth for Ohio communities. Analysis of the State’s raw water supply situation is conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water (ODNR-DW) in cooperation with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Drinking and Ground Waters (OEPA-DDGW). The purposes of the ODNR-DW’s water supply planning program are to identify current and future water supply needs and to encourage communities to develop needed supply sources in an efficient and timely manner. The OEPA-DDGW regulates the construction and operation of public water supply, treatment, and distribution systems.
Planning for the Future
The ODNR-DW conducts water supply planning, system by system, emphasizing the need for communities to develop adequate water sources to provide for future economic growth. A community water system analysis includes inventorying the existing source and treatment facilities, projecting water use into the future, comparing projected water use with reported existing system yields, identifying projected deficiencies, and formulating alternatives for developing supplies to meet projected needs at the appropriate time. When system deficiencies are projected, the apparent least-cost alternative is recommended. Source alternatives may be development of ground water sources, construction of reservoirs, purchase of treated water from another system, or some combination of these.
History of Planning in Ohio
Community water supply analyses were first undertaken in the original regional water plans, completed for the entire state between 1967 and 1978. As specified in statute, Division of Water planning follows hydrologic boundaries, and the five water planning regions are based on major watersheds within the state. Community water supply analyses were updated for the Northwest Ohio region in 1986 and for the Northeast Ohio region in 1988. Updates for the Southwest, Central, and Southeast regions have not been completed. Currently, community water supply analyses in these regions are undertaken strategically: for one system, a small cluster of systems, or by some sub-regional hydrologic unit. The map below summarizes the status of water supply planning in Ohio.
| C - Updated analysis for selected communities within the county.
N - Updated analysis for Northeast of Northwest region of the county.
SW - Updated analysis for the Stillwater Creek Basin portion of the county.
CF - Updated analysis for the Clear Fork Mohican River Basin portion of the county.
LR - Updated analysis for the Licking river Basin portion of the county.
P - Partial analysis only in this county.
Where the water plans identified potential regional needs, the ODNR-DW cost shared in water supply development projects: (1) with the federal government in providing water supply allocations in flood control reservoirs, and (2) with local communities in the construction of upground reservoirs sized to meet regional needs. These state investments in water supply planning and projects paid dividends to the citizens of Ohio during the 1980s, when many of the state water supply allocations were transferred to local communities.