Delaware’s Office of Drinking Water is housed in the Department of Health and Social Services, with the mission of assuring safe drinking water through comprehensive monitoring, technical assistance and public education. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)’s Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. It provides technical assistance, laboratory services, and regulatory guidance and implementation.
Passed with unanimous bipartisan support, the Clean Water for Delaware Act recommends increased funding for low-income and underserved communities and prioritizes green infrastructure to improve water quality and reduce pollution in waterways. The original synopsis of the bill states, “The Clean Water for Delaware Act establishes a framework for assessing needs and planning and implementing projects that support Delaware’s efforts to improve the quality of the State’s water supply and waterways. A Delaware Clean Water Trust account is created as a funding source for executing projects highlighted by this framework. The Trust account will have oversight from the Clean Water Trust Oversight Committee (the “Committee”). The Committee will draw upon recommendations from the Water Infrastructure Advisory Council, (WIAC), the county Conservation Districts’, experts in the effected Cabinet agencies and other public input with the goal of assisting municipal and county governments and others in implementing affordable water quality projects. The Committee is required to develop and publish an Annual Report and multi-year Strategic Plan for Clean Water with annual updates.”
PENDING: Green Amendment to Delaware Constitution
Introduced on 4/22/2021
The proposed Delaware Green Amendment reads as follows: …”The people of Delaware have an inherent, indefeasible and inalienable right to a clean and healthy environment, including water, air, soil, flora, fauna, ecosystems, and climate, and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, scenic and healthful qualities of the environment. The State shall not infringe upon these rights, by action or inaction. The State’s natural resources are the common property of all the people, including both present and future generations. The State, including all branches, agencies and political subdivisions, shall serve as trustee of the State’ natural resources and shall conserve, protect, and maintain these resources for the benefit of all its people. This provision and the rights stated herein are self-executing and on par with other protected inalienable rights.”