Abundant water - for households, recreation, farming and industry - is a major reason why Ohio is a great place to live and do business. Our rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers are central to the well-being of families, businesses and communities.
The Healthy Water Ohio initiative aims to develop a long-range plan that will sustainably meet current and future water needs while enhancing the economy and quality of life for all Ohioans.
This grassroots initiative will be comprehensive and collaborative.
The risks to Ohio's water quantity and quality are many and diverse.
Stressors include an expanding population, growth of water-dependent industries (including manufacturing, energy and food), urban and rural development and changing climate patterns.
Policy choices at the federal, state, local and international levels also expose Ohioans to the risks of unintended consequences.
A diverse group of stakeholders is committed to developing a comprehensive plan of action.
Among the major steps:
In November 2013, Ohio Farm Bureau convened a diverse partnership of stakeholders from conservation, business and industry, universities, water suppliers, agriculture and others to lead the development of a 20- to 30-year Ohio water resource management strategy.
The result of this work will be a set of recommendations that provide a foundation for future actions. A report is to be completed by summer 2015.
This proactive initiative addresses water quality and quantity challenges and opportunities in a collaborative fashion to benefit all Ohioans.
A 16-member steering committee is leading a variety of stakeholders/organizations in issue-specific working groups to provide guidance for the strategic planning process. Data from public polling is enhancing the group's effort. Specific issues being studied include:
The following organizations are committed to the wise use of Ohio's water resources and have made significant contributions to the launch of the HWO initiative.
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|Major water consumers*|
|Electric power generation||8,930,000,000 gallons/day |
77.6% of Ohio's total
|Public and domestic consumption||1,579,000,000 gallons/day |
13.7% of Ohio's total
|Industrial production||703,000,000 gallons/day |
6.1% of Ohio's total
|Mining||174,000,000 gallons/day |
1.5% of Ohio's total
|Irrigation (farm and recreational)||42,6000,000 gallons/day 0.37% of Ohio's total|
|Livestock and aquaculture||33,570,000 gallons/day |
0.29% of Ohio's daily
|Cargo shipping||Ohio ports handle 95.5 million short tons—8th in the nation|
|Fishing||$2.9 billion in annual economic impact|
|Ohio tourism||$38 billion in annual economic impact|
*United States Geological Survey
3.1 million Ohioans (27%) live within 10 miles of Lake Erie or the Ohio River
450,018 registered watercraft, making Ohio a top 10 state
More than 800,000 fishing licenses sold annually
466,890 privately owned swimming pools and hot tubs
778 miles of designated scenic rivers
Business and Industry
Conservation and Environmental Advocacy
Food and Farming
Lawn, Horticultural, Turf
Municipal Water Systems
Recreation and Tourism
Research, Education and Outreach