Watershed management is essential in the protection of water resources. How about revenuesheds? That’s one of the messages in a report released from UNC’s NC Policy Collaboratory on measures needed to improve water quality Jordan Lake. The revenueshed concept emphasizes that users of the resource should fund the resource’s protection. Specific to Jordan Lake, the report recommends the following:
“Those jurisdictions with a water allocation from Jordan Lake should be charged a new water allocation fee to create additional revenue for water quality improvement projects throughout the entire watershed. This additional fee will ensure that upstream communities in the Jordan Lake watershed are joined by beneficiaries of the lake in maintaining a healthy lake.”UNC Collaboratory Final Report to the North Carolina General Assembly, December 2019
If recommendations from UNC get adopted, look for user communities to fund more of both the monitoring and clean-up efforts for the Lake.
Revenuesheds, do not, however, require polluters of the resource to clean up their act. So, while the revenueshed concept has its merits, it must be balanced with policies and measures that reduce pollution sources throughout the watershed. Therefore, actions and funding are needed both in the watershed and from the revenueshed to help improve water quality in this important water resource for hundreds of thousands in our state.