Operationalizing the Improvement Standard for Water Withdrawals for Affected Communities
This team identified impairments to the waters and water-dependent natural resources of the Great Lakes, and improvement activities that could be undertaken by municipal water systems to address those impairments. In consultation with local and regional organizations, team members narrowed this down for case studies at the Rural Lorain County Water Authority, Ohio and in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. They developed two tools to measure resource improvement: one that assesses cumulative effects (impacts or benefits) of the withdrawals, and a second that measures whether or not the identified improvement activities are proportionate to the cumulative effects of the withdrawals. This tool was applied to other Fund-supported projects to test the validity of the proposed resource improvement “scale”. This effort could ease the movement toward resource improvement under the Annex and its possible municipal applications.