Healthy Water Ohio stepping in to better manage water resources - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Healthy Water Ohio stepping in to better manage water resources

(Toledo News Now) -

As we get closer to the end of the harmful algal bloom season another group is getting involved in protecting our water. 

Healthy Water Ohio came up with a plan to better manage our local water resources.   

After getting input from organizations and surveying more than 1,000 neighbors, Healthy Water Ohio is issuing a strategic plan for maintaining and strengthening the state's water resources. Its goal is to preserve Ohio's valuable water assets. 

The plan includes recommendations that identify specific needs, some in the area of policy and research, others in infrastructure and education.

They’re proposing to create a public and private sector 'Ohio Water Trust,’ which would cost $250 million a year in order to go forward with the plan's next steps.

And the report's policy plan really emphasizes the value of Ohio's existing watershed districts, recommending voluntary management practices with incentives and reasonable regulations.  

But Healthy Water Ohio acknowledges that significant financial resources are needed. 

“One (recommendation) is to pursue a ballot measure, state bond measure, and we've seen some convergence with some statements made by some of our general assembly members recently that leads us to believe it's a pretty good idea.  And the second, probably a little more thoughtful approach, is the development of an Ohio Water Trust, which would be an opportunity to not only to develop a public private partnership around funding, but to find new revenue sources that we could apply to the issue of water quality challenges in the state,” said Josh Knights with the Nature Conservancy in Ohio.

Now that the plans have been released, the Healthy Water Ohio coalition wants to start prioritizing and pursuing its recommendations. 

The group says parts of the plan will take decades to accomplish, while others can start immediately. 

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