History of the Page County Water Quality Advisory Committee
The Page County Board of Supervisors appointed the Water Quality Advisory Committee in 1997 to help the Board address the water quality requirements of state and federal agencies.
Our County Board of Supervisors (BOS) is involved in the appointment of the multi-stakeholder, Water Quality Advisory Committee members, with a member of the BOS serving on the Committee. Because the Committee keeps the BOS informed about of their findings and recommendations, there is greater likelihood that these elected leaders will take action to support needed changes in zoning, ordinances and other citizen and government behavior needed to protect water quality.
The Committee was directed to collect water quality data, explore water-related issues throughout the County and provide recommendations for future actions by the Board of Supervisors in order for Page County to proactively manage water resources.
The Board of Supervisors subsequently asked the Water Quality Advisory Committee to develop ways to protect water quality in both agricultural and residential areas.
To advance water resource management and explore the use of watershed planning, the Advisory Committee hosted a Community Watershed Dialogue in March 2005, with local, regional, state and federal partners. This forum engaged community leaders, landowners, farmers and developers to better understand the value of water resource management and the “why’s” and “how-to’s” of watershed planning to guide water resource management.
The Community Watershed Dialogue resulted in three recommendations to manage Page County’s water resources: 1) strengthen the Water Quality Advisory Committee with additional stakeholders to fully address water resources; 2) establish a county-wide program for water resource management; and 3) initiate a plan in a priority watershed to model responsible watershed management.
In response to these recommendations and, at the request of County Supervisors, the Page County Water Quality Advisory Committee designed a comprehensive program to improve and protect the water resources of the County. This program is comprised of three inter-related components:
1) Education and outreach for county residents of all ages to increase the understanding of our water resources and inspire increased stewardship.
2) Watershed management plans to inform and guide land use decisions from the perspective of water resources; first for Mill Creek, a priority watershed due to its designation as an impaired water under the Clean Water Act, and then all other watersheds in Page County.
3) Land use practices-both voluntary and required-to protect water resources and the rights of local property owners.
In 2006, the Advisory Committee published the Page County Water Resources Primer, a 38-page guide to water sources, potential pollutants and local, state and federal water resource programs.
The Primer has been widely distributed in the county, to current residents and to newcomers through the local Chamber of Commerce and real estate offices.
In 2007, the Advisory Committee published Managing Page’s Water … And its Future, better known as the Water Futures report. This document outlines the steps needed to develop and implement a comprehensive watershed management plan for Page County.