Thrive Omits Many Things - But Water?
Thrive 2050, the County’s general plan update being considered by the Council, is troubling many residents regarding myriad shortcomings and inconsistencies. A central concern remains - the significant overhaul by MC Planning of the draft that was crafted with public input (we breakdown the striking differences between the plans here)- a move that relegated any discussion of how we meet environmental goals and climate resilience into a separate non-binding document of suggestions.
And yet the plan seems to be speeding toward approval at the Council.
There is one glaring omission from the plan that should give the Council pause.
Why does Thrive barely mention water resources - the one most critical resource we can't do without?
- The plan makes no mention of: "Chesapeake Bay" , "Potomac River", or "Patuxent River" and passing mention of the sole source aquifer that supplies most of the Reserve. The plan seems willfully disinterested in where our water comes from or where it is ultimately going.
- Unlike the recent general plans of surrounding jurisdictions , Thrive contains no watershed maps or stream quality maps and thus no discussion of their import. Discussion of water resources goes no further than referencing the Water Resources Functional plan - written 10 years ago and expiring 10 years from now.
- The plan makes no mention of projections from the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin that by 2040 we will have severe droughts were demand will far exceed supply, even with the 4 proposed new reservoirs.
- The Thrive draft moving toward approval already has 60% fewer instances of the word "equity" than the draft created with public input. Water is an equity issue. The quality of the water that flows from the tap and through our streams matters to all neighborhoods. Like other green infrastructure including canopy cover, stream mapping would show that poorer neighborhoods have disproportionate water quality deficits with the associated public health issues.
Join us to urge the Council that a plan charting the County's future include comprehensive and equitable plans for our most vital resource - that would be water. They can start by putting the environment chapter back in the main plan from the appendix where it has been relegated and then start to add comprehensive water quality solutions to benefit all residents. To be clear - until Thrive includes the basic goal of providing for a healthy water supply, the plan is incomplete.
Click "start writing" to send the Council a letter before the next (last?) listening session on December 15 - and thank you!