As Ohioans, we’re fortunate to live in a state where water is a plentiful resource. But we can’t take our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and streams for granted.
As climate change continues to place extraordinary pressure on our aging water infrastructure and degrades the quality of drinking water sources, protecting our state’s water quality stands out as a crucial priority.
A healthy network of streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands reduces flooding, cleans the water, supports diverse wildlife, creates jobs, bolsters local economies, and provides clean and safe drinking water.
Unfortunately, our waterways are under attack. Every day, pollutants, including sewage, toxic chemicals, manure and fertilizers are found seeping into our water. These pollutants not only harm the pristine beauty and tranquility of our waterways, but also our state’s health and economy.
As a water-rich state, Ohio has remarkable potential to thrive. However, federal and state laws fail to protect our vital natural resources or ensure safe drinking for all who call Ohio home. Nearly half our waterways fall short of the fishable, swimmable, and drinkable standards required by the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
We envision a future where all Ohioans have safe, clean drinking water. Public water system improvements are chronically underfunded, widening the gap between poorer and more affluent communities when it comes to shouldering the financial burden of providing access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water. These problems intensify when cities must deal with existing persistent issues like toxic algae and emerging threats — such as newly-identified contaminants like PFAS — in drinking water sources.
Using the latest scientific research, the OEC advocates, educates, and mobilizes Ohioans and lawmakers to protect Ohio’s water for years to come.