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Public Participation and the Advisory Committee Process A Collaborative Partnership For Water Resources. Toni M. Johnson, Chief Water Information Coordination Program. Dialog on Public Participation.

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Public Participation and the Advisory Committee Process A Collaborative Partnership For Water Resources

Toni M. Johnson, Chief

Water Information Coordination Program

dialog on public participation
Dialog on Public Participation
  • To achieve consensus or concurrence among individuals or organizations with differing interests --

Particularly if affecting public policy --

  • Important to use sound principles !
  • Principles of Public Participation are being used in many countries to develop national and global policies
dialog on public participation1
Dialog on Public Participation
  • In dealing with environmental issues
    • Benefit to combining citizens’ views
      • which provide economic & social issues
      • with Scientific and technical expertise
  • Danish Model uses Citizens’ Panels or Consensus Conference
    • Reflects a better Balance of Powers
      • among governments, industry, and

the public

dialog on public participation2
Dialog on Public Participation
  • Use the combined input of
    • Science, Technology, and Policy
    • With a cross-section of representatives
  • Results in more Realistic Outcomes
    • Where technical expertise alone may
      • result in an over-simplified solution
      • not address community resource needs
benefits of an open participatory process
Benefits of an Open Participatory Process
  • Produce Policy Decisions that promote public interests – the needs of many customers
  • Decentralize decision power closer to user community – at the watershed or aquifer level
  • Recommend collaborative solutions – to problems of access and comparability
benefits of an open participatory process1
Benefits of an Open Participatory Process
  • Assist data users to
    • access and understand data & information
    • collected by multiple sources -- governments as well as citizens – including:
      • members of non-profit water associations who educate their membership
      • private industries that use or impact waters
      • volunteers who monitor local waters
federal advisory committee act
Federal Advisory Committee Act
  • In 1972, the United States Congress enacted a Public Law --
  • The Federal Advisory Committee Act
  • To ensure that advice given to Federal agencies by committees
    • be objective – balanced membership
    • be accessible to the public
advisory committee on water information acwi
Advisory Committee on Water Information - ACWI
  • Water information users

advise Federal Government

    • on the effectiveness of Federal water programs
    • to meet the nation’s

water information needs

  • Member organizations

foster communication

    • with state & local govt.
    • with private sector
advisory goals objectives
Advisory Goals & Objectives

Improve access, sharing, and understanding of water data and information across the U.S.

  • Improve Coordination among Federal

water agencies

  • Share Information with non-Federal entities:
    • Tribal, State and Interstate
    • Regional and Local
    • Universities and Educational
  • Increase Collaboration with non-government organizations & the private sector
  • Develop public-private partnerships

Advisory Committee Sub-Groups

National Water




National Liaison


for Water Quality


on Spatial Water



on Hydrology

Subcommittee on


Work Groups

Methods and Data

Comparability Board

Sustainable Water

Resources Roundtable

Work Groups


on Ground Water

Work Groups

Work Groups

Work Groups

Work Groups

national water quality monitoring council
National Water Quality Monitoring Council
  • Provides a national forum

for coordination of

    • consistent & defensible
    • methods & strategies
  • To improve water quality
    • monitoring,
    • assessment.,
    • reporting
  • Using a Framework for Monitoring


cooperative research development agreements
Cooperative Research & Development Agreements
  • Creates a formal partnership --
    • for the use &/or marketing of new

technologies & knowledge transfer

    • optimizes scarce resources
    • improves Federal relationships with public

and private sectors

    • transfer occurs in both directions
creates products
Creates Products
  • National Environmental Methods Index
    • Select and compare methods
  • Water Quality Data Elements
    • Metadata needed for data comparability
    • Both Surface and Ground Water Quality
    • Published Guidelines for States

International Participation

    • Hosted 8 countries in 2006
    • Short course on Assessing Ground Water Vulnerability
  • Join us on the East Coast

May 18-22, 2008 !

sustainable water resources roundtable
Sustainable WaterResources Roundtable
  • A forum to share information and perspectives
  • To promote better decision making
  • On more sustainable development
  • Of our Nation's water resources
sustainable water resources roundtable1
Sustainable WaterResources Roundtable
  • Open Roundtables held in various regions
  • Develop Indicators and Criteria for Sustainability
  • Include Private Industry
  • Address both Quantity and Quality
  • Water and Energy Interface
subcommittee on ground water
Subcommittee on Ground Water
  • To implement a ground-water Monitoring Frame-work that:
    • is Nationwide & long-term
    • includes quantity & quality
  • To aid in planning, management & development of ground-water supplies to:
    • meet current and future water needs &
    • ecosystem requirements
subcommittee on ground water1
Subcommittee on Ground Water

Steering Committee Members

  • Federal: U.S. Geological Survey
  • State: Texas Dept. Environmental Quality
  • Private Sector: Amer. Society of Civil Engineers
  • Non-Profits for GW Professionals:
    • Well Drilling: National Ground Water Assoc.
    • Underground Injection: Ground Water Protection Council
    • Waste Water: Water Environment Federation
subcommittee on ground water2
Subcommittee on Ground Water

Ground Water

Work Groups

Monitoring Inventory

Data Standards and

Data Management



National Monitoring Design

goals of public participation
Goals of Public Participation

Improve access, sharing, understanding of water data and information

  • Use known principles of Public Participation
  • Share Information openly among governments
  • Use an Advisory Committee process to
    • bring multiple stakeholders to the table
  • Increase Collaboration with non-government organizations
    • Develop public-private partnerships
  • Create better policy by combining
    • Science and Technical Knowledge
    • Citizen perspectives on their watersheds

and aquifers


Let’s Make Things Better by…

Water Information Coordination Program

Toni M. Johnson