The Water Resources Collaborative (WRC) has been administered by Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) since 2004. The WRC meets quarterly throughout the year, including three joint meetings with the Smart Growth Collaborative on topics of mutual interest; in addition, technical teams or small group meetings may be created on an as-needed basis to develop or respond to specific initiatives. The role of TJCOG is to convene the WRC as a group of parties interested in furthering integrated water resources management in the region, and facilitate collaborative and informative meetings.
The WRC provides an opportunity for TJCOG to respond to several needs identified in the water resources community:
- A desire by many elected officials, staff, and entities involved in water management to have a mechanism for information exchange within the region.
- Provide education and awareness of the importance of water resource conservation through unified water management to lawmakers and enforcers.
- Provide input to state initiatives related to water resources.
- Promote sound principles of water quality, quantity, and value in regional planning using an integrated “One Water” approach
- Serve as an information exchange, including the sharing of resources and needs between member entities regarding water management, as well as innovative policies, programs, and techniques from within our region and across the nation
- Update participants on development in other water resources groups around the regions
- Provide an opportunity for input and response to state legislative and executive initiatives
- Share pertinent case studies and legal outcomes from other areas of the country that may help focus regional efforts and provide alternative strategies
- Provide a platform for guest speakers and presenters to share knowledge with the Collaborative and stimulate thoughtful discussion amongst all participants
- Provide a ‘level playing field’ for Collaborative members across the water management spectrum
- Integrate with TJCOG Smart Growth Collaborative as needed
Structure & Membership
The WRC is chaired by elected officials and staffed by TJCOG employees. Collaborative representatives are designated by member local governments, while meetings are open to all interested persons. Participants are drawn from five types of organizations:
- Local and state governments, including elected and appointed officials, managers, and staff from departments addressing stormwater, permitting, sustainability, water infrastructure, and other water quality and quantity-related programs;
- University departments, such as the UNC Policy Collaboratory, the NCSU Water Resources Research Institute, the NCSU Cooperative Extension, and Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment;
- Regional non-governmental organizations that address watershed protection, planning, and conservation issues, such as The Conservation Fund, the NC Conservation Network, and the Conservation Trust for NC;
- Private organizations, such as environmental consultants, agribusinesses, and technology firms;
- Civic groups with an interest in watershed protection, planning, and conservation issues.
Jen Schmitz, Principal Planner – Water Resources | firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-558-9342