Phone: 603-778-0885
Fax: 603-778-9183

Model Water Quality Buffer Regulation: Protecting Water Resources at the Local Level

Project Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee convened on March 1, 2021. Meeting notes are available here.

Upcoming Advisory Committee meetings will be:

  • Wednesday April 7, 2021 from 2:00-4:00pm via Zoom video conference
  • Monday May 3, 2021 from 2:00-4:00pm via Zoom video conference

Note: A statewide stakeholder workshop will be held on Monday May 24, 2021. Agenda to follow so please check back in early April and see below for details.

Methods of Buffer Protection

Water quality buffers can incorporate landscape level characteristics that contribute to water quality impairment such as steep slopes, erodible soils, stormwater runoff, and non-point and point sources of pollution.

The model buffer regulation seeks to recognize these landscape characteristics where they occur - not on all properties and not on all development sites. The goal is to prevent water quality impairment and minimize existing impairments when possible.

Buffer protections can be adopted by municipalities as an overlay district in the zoning ordinance or in land development regulations (e.g. Site Plan Review and Subdivision Regulations). Each method has varying degrees of authority, applicability, and protection of water quality.

Options and Challenges to Local Adoption

Coming Soon

Model Water Quality Buffer Regulation

Coming Soon

Stakeholder Workshop

A statewide stakeholder workshop will be held on Monday May 24, 2021. Agenda to follow so please check back in early April for details on this event.


Presentations and Technical Resources

Refer to informational materials and technical resources from the NH Buffer Options for the Bay project at https://www.bufferoptionsnh.org/



Project Manager:

Julie LaBranche Senior Planner, Rockingham Planning Commission jlabranche@therpc.org (603) 652-0588

Project Partner:

Strafford Regional Planning Commission

Funding credit:

Preparation of this application was funded by a Local Source Water Protection grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Source Water Protection Program.