Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Plan For Clean Water Will Guide Monroe County Leaders In Protecting Land

Keeping drinking water safe the old-fashioned way — by not polluting it in the first place — is cheaper, easier and more natural than trying to fix it after it’s been contaminated.
Monroe County municipal leaders need accurate, complete information to make good choices for preserving land to keep drinking water safe.
Providing that information is the purpose of a new partnership between Brodhead Watershed Association and Monroe County Planning Commission, with funding from the Open Space Institute.
The goal is to create a leaders’ guide based on water science, with detailed maps of land that is most important to keeping water pure naturally.
Many municipalities have funds to protect forested land and water, but need information to use those funds wisely — and to explain the “why” of their decisions to constituents.
The reports, maps and data this project provides will help officials do just that. The research will pinpoint properties that would provide the most protection for water quality and quantity if they remain natural and undeveloped.
“The study will look at properties throughout the county, not just within the Brodhead watershed,” says Bob Heil, BWA executive director. “We hope this way of looking at water issues — taking into account both political boundaries and watershed boundaries — will be a model for other watershed organizations.”
The summary report, “Our Land, Our Water,” will set out the findings of the technical studies in plain English. It will include a matrix of lands important for drinking-water protection, stream flow and quality, and groundwater recharge. Detailed maps will make clear the best land for protecting water.
The work will be completed by late 2018, and delivered to county and municipal elected officials — with tailored guidance for each.
Jackson, Paradise, Smithfield and other municipalities have such funds available. Some have asked for exactly this kind of information. Now, they’ll have concrete guidance for protecting citizens’ drinking water.
For information about the program, visit the Plan for Clean Water Project webpage.
For more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events, visit the Brodhead Watershed Association website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Association.  Click Here to become a member.

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