Aligning land use policies and water protection programs

An announcement from the Smart Growth Leadership Institute (SGLI):

SGLI, working with The Trust for Public Land (in partnership with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and the River Network) launched a new program to help state governments develop innovative ways to protect drinking water sources by improving the coordination between state land use management and water protection programs.

The three-year program, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will help states to align land use and water protection programs. The initiative will identify disconnects in policies and programs between these two areas, harmonize those that work at cross-purposes, and propose ways to strengthen programs that could deliver multiple results.

The program will also encourage more effective collaboration between various state agencies and stakeholder groups. The intent is to maximize the effectiveness of initiatives taken by land use planners, water utilities, watershed associations, government officials, conservationists, farmers and foresters.

Three partner states will be selected this year. Selected states will benefit from:

  • Consultations with experts on best practices from around the country
  • Exposure to other state examples and strategies
  • Recommendations for policy alignment and program adjustments based on state-specific reviews
  • Strategies for improving funding for water protection
  • A support network, both within and outside government, for implementation
  • A modest amount of financial support to initiate implementation activities

States interested in the program must submit an Expression of Interest Form available for download at The website also contains more information about the program, the program partners, the state selection criteria, details about the application process (including who can apply to the program, as well as critical application deadlines) and key contacts.