Jordan Lake One Water
The Jordan Lake Watershed is a massive regional resource that is utilized by 10 counties, 27 municipalities, and nearly 700,000 water customers, which has impacted the health of Jordan Lake. For the past decade and a half, state policy-makers, regulatory agencies, local governments, and a range of other stakeholders have worked to restore water quality within Jordan Lake with little success. As water quality and water supply challenges continue to increase from growing populations, there is an opportunity to reevaluate water resource management within the Jordan Lake Watershed and move towards a more collaborative, interdisciplinary, and innovative approach. Jordan Lake One Water (JLOW) is a partnership to facilitate cooperation and integrated water resource management in the Jordan Lake watershed. The group is comprised of local governments, conservation groups, universities, water utilities, agriculture, and private industry stakeholders interested in sharing the cost of water quality and quantity improvements in order to realize watershed-wide social, economic, and environmental benefits.
WHAT IS ONE WATER?
One Water is a transformative approach to how we view, value, and manage water. The One Water approach views all water – from the water resources in our ecosystems to our drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater – as resources that must be managed holistically and sustainably in order to secure a bright, prosperous future for our children, our communities, and our country. A One Water approach can take many different forms, but has some unifying characteristics:
- A mindset that all water has value
- A focus on achieving multiple benefits - economic, environmental, & social
- Approaching decisions with a systems mindset
- Utilizing watershed-scale thinking & action
- Relying heavily on partnerships & inclusion
In 2017, Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) began holding meetings to discuss One Water management concepts in the Jordan Lake watershed. Interest was so high, among so many different groups, including elected officials, that a JLOW advisory committee was formed to develop a workplan and begin moving forward on collaborative planning efforts. One of the first steps will be to develop a communication and outreach strategy to raise awareness about the group and ensure that each community is well represented. JLOW plans to meet quarterly and workgroups, led by members, will meet as needed. The advisory committee will help the workgroups share their findings with the larger JLOW group and Jordan Lake watershed community.
Jordan Lake One Water recognizes that a successful water management strategy relies upon a diverse set of stakeholders, partnerships, and collaboration. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do, water connects us all. It is important that your voice is heard. Please contact Jen Schmitz, Principal Planner - Water Resources at 919-558-9342 or firstname.lastname@example.org