Best Practice Recommendations + Things To Consider

Here are some best practices for planning for sustainable water use:

  • Be honest during your evaluation. It’s okay not to be the best at everything. To draft a quality general plan element and recommendations for subsequent measures to improve on water use and preservation, your community needs to be honest with itself. Be realistic and open (dare we even say critical) during your evaluation so that you know exactly where the beginning benchmarks are.     
  • Remember to review and update your municipality’s general plan periodically. General plans and elements contained within, such as land use, water use and preservation, etc., need to be considered as living, breathing documents. As such, they should be revised periodically. How often is “periodically,” you ask? It depends on how quickly the key variables are changing. Variables like your rate of growth (or maybe the fact that your municipality is not growing), the quality of your existing plans, community goals, environmental or resource factors, demographic shifts, and local economic conditions. 
  • Team work makes the dream work. Even though not technically required by state statutes, fifth class cities and towns should still add a water use and preservation element to their general plans. Water is a vital commodity, one that we all need in order to survive and one that is best preserved when we all do our part.
  • Don’t forget to update ordinances to reflect changes in the general plan. Remember, general plans are guiding documents. They are not your adopted ordinances. If a concept changes drastically in your municipality’s general plan, be sure to also make appropriate amendments to your adopted ordinances to ensure that the community’s vision is tactically brought to pass.