The City Club Forum: Water quality past and present: Are we on a sustainable path to the future?
Water has been at the center of our region’s development since Moses Cleveland settled here. It could be said that it has been the primary element in our success. However, we have not always been good stewards of this important resource. Significant water pollution problems due to incomplete wastewater treatment and poor watershed management practices were identified in the middle of the last century. Since then local, state and federal resources have been invested to restore and sustain our regional ground and surface water system. These investments in capital and labor have been responsible for significant improvements in water quality and have restored recreational opportunities in our lakes and rivers. However, the effort must be sustained and even expanded to include broader issues such as storm water management. Our panelists discussed the history of these efforts, assess the current health of our water resources and address the need for future efforts. They included Julius J. Ciaccia, Jr., Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Chris Korleski, Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The program was moderated by Gretchen Cuda, from WCPN/Ideastream. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) is responsible for the protection of Ohio's air, land and water resources. The mission of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District is to serve their customers by leading effective wastewater and storm water management that protects the health and environment of the region while enhancing quality of life. Water – Our Region’s Biggest Asset was a three-part series that focused on the importance of water to our historical development, efforts to maintain its sustainability and prospects for future growth featuring our most abundant asset.