New Report Shows Boost in State Efforts to Restore Clean Water

By Emily Bird, Agency of Natural Resources

A powerful report showcasing the results of public investment in clean water projects during 2017 is now available. The Vermont Clean Water Initiative 2017 Investment Report, released by the Secretary of Administration, shows how public funds are being applied to clean water projects and the impact these dollars are having.

“State funds invested in clean water improvement projects more than doubled in 2017. The health of our economy and our communities depends on clean water. This significant increase shows that Vermont is committed to clean water efforts across the state,” said Vermont Secretary of Administration and Clean Water Fund Board Chair, Susanne Young. “This investment report paints a picture of how public funds were spent and the results delivered. The report also highlights our commitment to tracking our progress in a way that is transparent and accountable to the public.” 

The report uses four categories to measure impact. These categories are:

  1. Outreach and technical assistance measured by the level of assistance provided to support clean water projects;
  2. Investment dollars by source, measured by agency, project phase, sector, project match, and location;  
  3. Investment made by project phase (planning, design and implementation);
  4. Environmental outcomes measured by the reduction in water pollution.

“The state agencies leading Vermont’s clean water implementation efforts worked together to develop this report. We wanted to provide Vermonters with an opportunity to see the connection between dollars invested, actions taken, and outcomes achieved across state programs,” said Julie Moore, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. “To make it even easier for the public, we added a new scorecard showing the overall impact of state investment in clean water projects for agriculture, transportation, developed areas, and natural areas. The scorecard also highlights the impact of state funding in each of Vermont’s 13 watersheds.”

The report calls out the growing investment in clean water, including:

  • 100% increase in funds invested in agricultural pollution prevention to support water quality and sustain Vermont’s working landscape and agricultural economy;
  • 150% increase in natural resources restoration to improve flood resilience and water quality as well as support outdoor recreation and tourism;
  • 200% increase in state funds to support municipalities in making roads more resilient to flooding as well as controlling road-related runoff;
  • 40% increase in investment to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff from parking lots and other non-road related hard surfaces;

This report shows Vermont’s investment in clean water at the state level. Vermont also leverages an additional $2.5 million in federal funding to improve water quality.

Vermonters care deeply about the health of the state’s lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands. This year’s Clean Water Initiative Investment Report summarizes the results of public investments in clean water and helps Vermonters see the impact of clean water projects in their communities. Read the report and find the watershed you live in (page 76) to see the investments taking place in your neighborhood at http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/cwi/cwf#report.