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RC1: Sustain and enhance water quality.

Description

Water quality was the highest priority for participants in the GroWNC process. Almost half of all the participants voted that ensuring clean and plentiful water should be a priority for the region.

The GroWNC study area serve as headwaters to many river systems. Over 7,000 miles of streams have been mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey in the region. Portions of the study area receive enough rainfall to be classified as a temperate rainforest. This rain feeds headwater streams, which gain flow from seeps and springs in high mountain valleys. Some of these cold water streams offer some of the best water quality in the state, due to the limited development in their upper reaches. Throughout the GroWNC process, it became evident that preserving the quality of this resource is paramount to ensuring a healthy and prosperous region.

Water quality protection efforts have also proven to be cost effective. Watershed protection efforts have been shown to significantly reduce water treatment costs. Downstream anglers, paddlers, residents, and businesses benefit from water quality. Recreational interests bring millions of dollars in ecotourism revenue to the region annually. A thriving outdoor recreation manufacturing industry provides high-quality jobs to the area. Over the last few years, water quality has proved essential to bringing major employers to the region. For example, many of the brewers that located in the region suggest that the region’s high quality of water is one of the factors that make the region so attractive for the industry.

Strategies

RC1.1: Protect land in the region's headwaters. Read more »
RC1.2: Reduce the amount of land disturbed in critical watersheds through targeted development regulations. Read more »
RC1.3: Limit stream crossings in headwaters. Read more »
RC1.4: Establish, restore, and promote streamside protection areas. Read more »
RC1.5: Promote the use and maintenance of incentives, ordinances, and site design criteria that encourage the use of innovative stormwater management techniques. Encourage the use of green infrastructure to augment traditional stormwater management systems. Read more »
RC1.6: Investigate the potential for a regional designation of "trout-friendly" developments. Read more »
RC1.7: Incorporate the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture datasets into development review and comprehensive planning. Read more »
RC1.8: Develop programs or demonstration projects that encourage green roofs and solar canopies. Read more »
RC1.9: Encourage access to cold water fisheries through co-locating greenways on trout waters. Read more »