2018 Clean Water Forum
Time & Location
About The Event
Thank you to our partners, VTDigger and Vermont PBS, and all who participated in the Clean Water Forum Panel & Discussion! We were joined by panelists, Sec. of Agency of Natural Resources Julie Moore, Sec. of Agriculture, Food & Markets Anson Tebbetts, Sen. Chris Bray, Rep. David Deen, Jon Groveman of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Jen Kimmich of the Alchemist as well as over 70 Vermont organizations involved in water quality efforts at the local and state level. Following the discussion, participants worked in five different topic groups to brainstorm and present their priorities. The Clean Water Forum brought participants across sectors together to share ideas and meaningful discussion around securing clean water funding and creating innovative, equitable solutions for tough water quality issues!
Panelists receive questions on water quality, clean water funding, legislation, and farming not only from participants, but also those who joined us via Facebook Live. You can watch the video here on Vermont PBS.
Tables were organized around the following designated topics: System Change - Statewide Clean Water Authority, Innovation, Public Engagement, Funding & Fairness, and Compliance. Participants were asked to sit at the topic they would most like to discuss. Each table had a poster board with a guiding question or prompt that groups were asked to answer with three priorities or ideas to accomplish their goals.
System Change - Statewide Clean Water Authority
The Statewide Authority group considered a new bill (S.260) that creates a statewide clean water authority, with responsibility for maintaining and achieving the Vermont Water Quality Standards in all waters, and prevent the future degradation of waters. The group was then asked to answer the following question,
How could a statewide clean water authority be designed in a way that accomplishes this? What are your top suggestions to make this happen?
- The new authority should integrated and work with other state & federal agencies involved in funding clean water efforts
- This entity can’t truly be independent - it needs to informed by the information from the tactical basin plans and VTrans and other agencies, both federal and state, and also from the grassroots - from community needs and watershed groups
The Public Engagement group shared about ways to make the The Clean Water Act (Act 64) and the value of clean water more comprehensible for Vermonters who may not understand their role in ensuring our waters remain drinkable, swimmable and fishable. The group considered the following:
What will it take to get people to care and act - creating a culture of clean water?What are your top three priorities to make this happen?
- Dept. of Education should create a multidisciplinary clean water curriculum to be used as a resource by teachers
- Developing an amnesty & needs-based program for low-income property owners because they cannot focus on water quality until their basic needs are met
- Launching a social media campaign of storytelling that showcases water quality successes and failures across the state