Sunday, June 22, 2014

Initial Water Survey Results

Hi all,

I have been quiet on this blog waiting for some of the County's advisory committees to chime in on their thoughts on our water needs based on the request from the County Council in their Water Action Plan resolution. I also wanted to allow people to take the online questionnaire I posted without too much upfront discussion of the issues.

Since the Water Action plan resolution came out the League of Women Voters has help two forums on waters issues, and the Rome Grange has held three water forums. All these forums included well balanced panels of knowledgeable speakers. You can view the League of Women voters forums here, and the Rome Grange Forums can be seen here, here, and here.  In addition to these forums many of the County's advisory committees that have some role in water issues have begun to talk about their priorities, and some have already provided advice to the council. In addition to that Executive Louws and his staff have begun a process to bring forward a menu of options for the Council to consider that would start to address some of our water issues. At the County Council's July 8th Council meeting Executive Louws will give the Council an overview of what he and his staff have developed. This will give the Council about a month to consider these initial ideas before our summer recess in August during which the Executive's office starts to put together their final budget proposal that will come to the council later in the fall.

I have also pulled all the information that was provided by over 200 people that took the time to fill out my questionnaire on water issues. An overview of the results of the survey-type questions can be found here. Over the next couple weeks I will describe some of the individual findings in more depth, but thought I would tease you with this one result which seemed like the one question that came closest to creating a consensus answer. The question asked was:
--> "County staff, advisory committees and local citizens have developed a list of nearly 300 water projects and programs that are thought to be of some importance. At our current levels of spending on water programs we are not able to accomplish many of these, or address other issues such as water rights that some would like us to take a more active role in." Here are the combined answers to that question from across the county:
Click on chart to expand

You can download the survey questions result yourself at the link above, or you can stay tuned to this blog where I will provide some analysis of what I found interesting. Please take these results with a serious grain of salt. Like any online based survey the results are questionable because those that fill them out are self selecting, and with only 200+ people taking this county-wide the sample size is pretty small. That being said, the way this was released and pushed out to a wide range of people interested in water issues, I think the result are interesting. The above graph was the easiest to interpret, and I was really pleased to see such a high percentage of people share my belief that it is time for the County to "step up."

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