An unprecedented coalition of Ohio water stakeholders has issued its strategic plan for maintaining and strengthening the state’s water resources.
The Healthy Water Ohio (HwO) coalition’s recommendations aim to preserve Ohio’s valuable water assets for those who rely on them for consumption, recreation, food production and commerce.
The HwO plan identifies specific needs in the areas of policy, research, infrastructure and education. It also proposes the creation of a public-private Ohio Water Trust, funded at $250 million annually to help enact the plan’s recommendations.
The coalition agreed that significant financial resources will be needed to sustainably meet current and future water needs and enhance the state’s economy and quality of life.
The proposed Ohio Water Trust would be governed by a diverse stakeholder board, which will identify and support projects that will improve water quality, reduce stormwater and other flooding, enhance agricultural nutrient management, reduce drainage maintenance and dredging costs, assist voluntary regulatory compliance and enhance habitat and recreational use while meeting other societal values.
With its strategic plan released, the Healthy Water Ohio coalition now intends to prioritize and pursue its recommendations.