Promoting Drought Resilience Through Plans and Codes

Zoning Practice — April 2014

By Marilyn Hall, AICP


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Drought, especially prolonged drought, brings numerous detrimental impacts. Documenting those impacts establishes a set of expectations against a baseline for normal conditions, so that a community can prepare for future droughts. But effective mitigation of drought involves more than simply knowing what to expect. It involves the use of planning to determine precisely what the community is in a position to do to reduce those impacts prior to and during a drought. The goal is to make a community more drought resilient through planning.

Ideally, a drought plan should include lists of actions to be taken in response to future drought. More importantly for planners, it should also offer lists of long-term changes that can reduce vulnerability to future droughts. Many changes related to land use or water infrastructure take years or even decades to implement, and would also need to be incorporated into infrastructure planning.

This issue of Zoning Practice discusses the important roles land development standards, comprehensive plans, codes and zoning ordinances, collaborative regional plans, and public engagement all play in promoting more sustainable water use and resilience to the impacts of drought.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2014
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American Planning Association

About the Author

Marilyn Hall, AICP
<p>Marilyn Hall, AICP is the founder and owner of Hall Consulting, Inc.&nbsp; Since 1997, Marilyn has developed and implemented high quality and innovative plans for utilities and&nbsp;communities throughout Georgia and the Southeastern US.&nbsp; She developed the award-winning Comprehensive Plan for the City of Moreland, GA. and has been recognized by the American Planning Association as an expert in drought planning and management.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As Water Resources Planner for Athens-Clarke County, GA she created and implemented a new innovative water reuse program&nbsp;and helped negotiate purchase of the Rock Hill Quarry as a future water storage reservoir.&nbsp; She was also responsible for the utility&#39;s long-term capital improvements program totaling $400M. In addition to the water-related pursuits of the utility, she managed special projects such as the planning and construction for a 650 kWh solar array at the Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facility.&nbsp; Under her leadership the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office became a national leader, earning recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense program 9 years in a row.&nbsp;</p><p>Marilyn is passionate about giving back to her community and profession.&nbsp; She currently serves as the&nbsp;chair of the Integrated Master Planning Committee and is the former chair of the Water Reuse Committee for the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.&nbsp; She is the current chairperson of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and past Board Member&nbsp;of the GA Chapter of the American Planning Association.&nbsp; She is also a former Board Member of the Water Reuse Association and chairperson of the Georgia WaterWise Council.&nbsp; She is Georgia&#39;s &quot;Climate Champion&quot; for the American Planning Association and is a Climate Reality Leader.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p><p>She serves on the Northwestern University Alumni Admissions Council and has&nbsp;volunteered&nbsp;14 consecutive years for Rivers Alive, the largest river cleanup event in the state of Georgia.</p><p>Marilyn has a Master of City Planning degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an BA in Economics from Northwestern University.&nbsp; In 2019, she graduated from the Water Environment Federation&#39;s Water Leadership Institute.</p>