Rising populations and increased development in New Hampshire coastal communities have led to a decline in water quality in the Great Bay Estuary. Responding effectively and affordably to new federal permit requirements for treating and discharging stormwater and wastewater will require innovative solutions from communities in the area. The Water Integration for Squamscott-Exeter (WISE) project developed an integrated planning framework through which the coastal communities of Exeter, Stratham, and Newfields could significantly reduce the cost of meeting permit requirements. In this brief, authors Alison Watts, Robert Roseen, Paul Stacey, Renee Bourdeau, and Theresa Walker report that integrated planning could save these communities over $100 million (in fifty-year lifecycle costs) by prioritizing high-impact, low-cost mitigation strategies across permit type and town boundaries. The project, which has received an Environmental Merit award from Environment Protection Agency, also found that attainment of water quality standards in the Exeter–Squamscott River will not be possible without substantial cooperation and investment from upstream communities, which are not currently subject to EPA permit requirements. Collaboration among communities in planning and implementing projects to meet clean water regulations can have significant cost and effectiveness benefits.
Regional Issue Brief No.47
Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire
Watts, Alison W.; Roseen, Robert; Stacey, Paul E.; Bourdeau, Renee; and Walker, Theresa, "Clean Water for Less Integrated Planning Reduces the Cost of Meeting Water Quality Goals in New Hampshire" (2016). The Carsey School of Public Policy at the Scholars' Repository. Paper 270.
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