Clean water is important for many reasons. Safe drinking water is critical to protect human health and clean surface water and groundwater are essential for people, wildlife, plants and aquatic communities to flourish. Our drinking water in the Miami Valley originates from a huge buried valley aquifer system that provides local communities with high quality waters that are often further treated to ensure their safety. This groundwater system is closely linked to our surface waters, with each flowing between the two during periods of low and high flows. It is essential that both our surface and ground water remain clean so that they do not contaminate each other.
Good planning is needed in order to protect our drinking water resources, promote recreational activities, and provide a high quality environment for fish and wildlife. The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission has worked to do this since 1974 through the development of the Region’s Areawide Water Quality Management Plan.
Determining what constitutes high quality rivers and streams is complex. The aquatic environment consists of many interacting factors, such as: water, flow, dissolved chemicals (most are naturally occurring and essential for life), microscopic to large organisms, and habitat (such as clay, sand, gravel, rocks, leaves, and other natural debris). These factors are constantly changing, both daily and seasonally, depending on the weather and the impacts of human activities. Many natural factors can have severe consequences on water quality and the organisms that live there, such as droughts, floods, or temperature extremes. No one factor typically dictates whether water quality is good or not. Rather, it is a combination of water quality criteria that scientists must interpret to determine the conditions that promote or degrade aquatic life and water quality.
Areawide Water Quality Management Committee Structure
MVRPC’s water quality planning work centers around the ongoing maintenance of the Area wide Water Quality Management Plan. In addition MVRPC undertakes more limited projects in coordination with the Ohio EPA.
Areawide Water Quality Management Plan
In accordance with the Water Pollution Control Act amendments of 1972, MVRPC serves as the Designated Water Quality Planning Agency for the 5-county Miami Valley Region. In this role MVRPC prepared and continually maintains the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (AWQMP).
The purpose of the Unsewered Communities Project is to examine and report on the options for these communities where on-site treatment is failing to protect human health and the environment. The reports will identify actionable solutions and lay the groundwork for future projects.