Full Meeting Notes

To download doc file:  NHLOW Kick Off Meeting Notes Compilation

New Hampshire Lives On Water
Initiative Kick-off Meeting Notes
Monday, October 27 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Plymouth State University – Concord Campus
http://www.plymouth.edu/graduate/student-life/directions/

9:00 am         John Gilbert, Chair – Introductions

What is the New Hampshire Lives on Water Initiative and what do we hope to accomplish today?

  • As part of the WSC process there were 6 listening sessions around the state; 18 commission meetings; steering committee has been working on this for almost a year…
  • take all that input and begin to synthesize it into something we can all take and move into action steps
  • This is what is out on the table…lots of perspectives in this room: push back, tell us what you think, we don’t have everything just right, we’re looking for feedback from you, what’s missing, what resonates, what needs revision and or amplification.,
  • SNAP Shot: as John mentioned, people in NH like water but what is it at this time and this place that we all feel we have to DO something about it and how do we do it?
  • The WHY? Crystallize the need before there’s a crisis, there are enough indications though that we will not have the choice but to do something now or we will be in crisis. The WHY question, if we can’t answer it, we can’t engage people.
  •  the WHAT, the mission, need to answer what are we trying to do and how are we going to do it? You represent a broad spectrum of folks doing something about water in NH but we’re not doing it together, we don’t have a collective voice. We also need the public’s voice behind it to make some priorities, pull all the individual groups together and do it in a strategic way. That is what we tried to capture in the mission. think of water words that work:
  • CLEAN & PLENTIFUL WATER / WATER INFRASTRUCURE
  • The HOW:   How are we going to do this. ARE these the 2 topics where we should be spending our time, resources?

9:20 am          Jim Rousmaniere, Retired Editor, Keene Sentinel
Streams and Us: A History of Fresh Water in New Hampshire
            (NO NOTES TAKEN)

9:40 am          Marcy Lyman –
Draft Framework for the Initiative and discussion

INFORMATION: Data, the stories (like Jim brought out); both successes & tragedies, what are the methods, one of the big issues around the table is, do people really know the value of the water that they’re using?  When it comes out of the tap…how much does it cost the town to deliver it? Investments need to be made

ENGAGEMENT: another broad area…the commission talked about this a lot. How do you engage people in this collective work? WE don’t have the answer, looking to you for some of those answers. Has to be done strategically so it sustains us over time

INNOVATIONS we recognized not doing this in the way we did before but come up with new ways to deal with these issues, look at our scientific, & non profit community  (note: research & professional community, UNH?AB)

HOW DO WE NOW WE’RE SUCCEEDING, and ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

  • Do you have any questions about the framework?
  • What are your reactions?
  • What is missing?
  • Does any of this resonate with you?

Below is a summary of the discussion that ensued.

  • Tom O’Brien (NH Lakes Assoc.) – echoed the initial feelings of several participants by stating that he was concerned about the amount of energy that would have to be involved to create and sustain a new organization and whether another organization was needed. Should this energy be put towards action and into an existing organization that can get that done? Lots of organizations in the state already, if we had dedicated funding for water infrastructure we could focus on “everything else”
  • Virginia Battles (former member of NH Sustainability Commission) – a step in this process is to figure out what organizations are already getting things done in the water sustainability arena and see what the common ground is and build from there
  • Bill Hounsell (Granite State Rural Water Association / CDM Smith) – along the lines of what Tom O’Brien said, the way to educate the people is through legislative policy. Every person has a representative in the house of representatives, education of the legislature…get before them, turn it into a public hearing. With the SB-60 report and commission and other related policy we are positioned for action for the first time in 20 years, since the 1990s.There is a meeting coming up this Thursday 10/30…1pm LLB. DES is working with SB 60 commission, Martha Fuller Clark, LSR’s discuss stakeholders… Bills that are sponsored in a bi partisan manner, industry has to be behind the reps are proposing the Bill: fee on containers, not a bottle bill

Will never happen without business, industrial, municipal association, etc. behind it.

“We are separate from the politics, we have to drive the politics.” Debate has to be at the legislative level.

  • Michael Licata (Business and Industry Association) – Can we work across sectors?
  • Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) SB-60 issues could take up all of our time and all of our efforts, however can we do that and take on some of the other issues: monitoring, data, etc. Last thing we need is another organization, so how do we do this work to get the collective force and voice of a lot of different players?
  • Paul Susca (NHDES) – Mentioned that there were copies of SB-60 Report in the back of the room
  • Mark Zankel (The Nature Conservancy NH) – Asked a question on the goal about “ensuring that our water resources are as clean as abundant as they are today.” Is “today” the right barometer of success? Mark also echoed Bill Hounsell’s comment about policy, in that public policy and having an improved public policy framework is not explicitly mentioned in the Initiative framework
  •  Andrew Stone (American Groundwater Trust) – Stated that we must not forget about the 200,000 private wells in the state, they better understand the value of their own water infrastructure and can help show the state the value of water – it is important that recognize “value” not just “cost” of water (could be incredible supporters)
  •  Blair Folts (Green Mountain Conservation Group) – another organization would be draining financially. We should try to promote education on a watershed scale because captures both on public water and those who are not. Each watershed should have a representative.
  • Michele Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – Could have a WORK GROUP that forms and with a finite time frame, goal, start middle and end. Set an agenda and have workgroups bit off pieces. Need to recognize the cost of water vs. value of water and bring the two messages together. People balk at $50 increase in water bill but will spend hundreds on their cable bill! Could have workgroup address
  • Michael Simpson (Antioch University) – Need to look at the cost of making NH’s water infrastructure resilient; cost to repair water infrastructure after failure has occurred versus being pro-active and making more resilient before a failure occurs is 4:1. However, first you need to have an inventory of what is on our landscape do determine infrastructure priorities.
  •  Roger Krussman (Trust for Public Land) – Asked the Steering Committee to define the word “infrastructure?”; important for everyone to be on the same page, define and be consistent with terminology
  • Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) answered that for the purpose of NHLOW, “infrastructure” incorporates grey and green infrastructure, hard and natural infrastructure. Expanding upon the definition in SB-60 and other reports and also thinking more broadly and applying to both public and private infrastructure
  • Keith Robinson (USGS) – Stated that he is favor of having an umbrella organization because it sets some vision for the future, sets goals for the State and its water resources, and brings groups/voices together to advocate and set goals together. Use organization to advocate together, rather than on our own. If we can put all our voices together, and work politically and on the local landscape; we can benefit from that.
  • Mark Zankel (The Nature Conservancy NH) – Asked the Steering Committee what is meant by the collaborative impact and backbone organization?

Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) answered that using the collective impact approach the backbone organization provides a mechanism by which many different stakeholders can come together. It requires a place/entity that houses the partnership/coalition where resources can be pooled, functions can be coordinated and administrative services are available (ex. copying, telephone, meeting space, etc.) The backbone organization supports the partners that come together rather than taking resources away

Examples are academic institutions, Cooperative Extension

  • Anne de Cossy (Opus Advisors) – encouraged people to read the book “Collaborative Leadership Fieldbook” by David Chrislip for more information about successful collaboration
  • Alison Watts (Steering Committee) – Encourages participants, when trying to envision what the coalition would look like, to think about “What would help my organization or help facilitate better coordination between organizations I work with? Or enhance my existing work?”
    • Virginia Battles (former member of NH Sustainability Commission) – Like a lobbying group?
    • Alison Watts (Steering Committee): Yes, but it would be more than that
  •  Pat Tarpey (Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association) – suggested that we need a uniform and consistent message with data that will support this message, then all water groups can use that material to enable them
  •  Keith Robinson (USGS) – “For me to get involved I need to know that it will make a difference. That it will take all of our powers together and set goals to move forward with consensus to use our authority, collectively, to work on water resource protection advocacy goal.” Wants to create a group that takes all of our powers together and sets goals of where we should be 5, 10, 20 years from now.
  • Consensus among participants that we can use each of our powers and authorities to move ahead on water infrastructure, safe drinking water, stormwater protection, climate change resiliency
  •  Tom O’Brien (NH Lakes Assoc.) – the challenge is to identify the avenues to change; for example an agency like NHDES to transform their regulations and authority to a watershed approach would take years; what would it take for them to change
  • Virginia Battles (former member of NH Sustainability Commission) – the funding component will always be a conversation. We should approach the question of how will we find funding to promote it?
  • Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) – Agreed, but stated that there are already places where energy is building and folks are ready to do something. Asked participants to brainstorm about where they know of organizations or movements that already have that energy to build something. And stated this is where we should start; with people that are already pulling together and have that energy and determine how we can add value to that energy.
  •  Mark Zankel (The Nature Conservancy NH) – There is a big difference between a group of initiatives that all relate to each other, which is already happening, and the premise of this discussion – where we are trying to pull all related organizations and initiatives together under a shared and collaborative set of goals, vision, metrics, resources. A good example is PREP: one convening organization, with of a lot of partners, strategizes and metrics, reported out every few years, focus resources on priorities, regularly convene to share that information.
  •  Michelle Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – However, PREP has the advantage of a sense of place, harder when it is across the entire state, like the NH Rivers Council. So, instead we must try to latch on to a sense of resource, which is harder to do. Commonalities need to be identified and uniform message/objectives developed.
  • June Hammond-Rowan (Plymouth State University) – Asked what is the indicator(s) that we are going to measure the water quality/quantity in 25 years to know if we have met our goal? We need baseline this so we can measure success.
  •  Rachael Rouillard (PREP) – States that she is struggling with the outset/long-term goal of this coalition. We need to have something very specific. For example, PREPs “State of our Estuaries” have very specific goals/information and they are revisited every 3 to 5 years. This helps our partners plug in and be a collective force. Another example is a group in the Midwest’s goal is to reduce the number of coal burning plants. We need a clear purpose.
  •  Keith Robinson (USGS) – If we have something specific we can all advocate for, extremely specific, then the advocacy will follow. This is a massive undertaking, but it can be done. Once achieved then go on to the next goal.
  • Marcy Lyman: We welcome any suggestions on indicators or goals that you would put into an over arching statement. Have to start with one step that is attainable, and then move to the next step.

10:25 am   Topic Breakout Sessions  / Light Refreshments

    • Concrete steps that can be taken to launch and advance the initiative
    • Breakout Session 1: Engagement/Regional Collaboration and Pilot Programs/
    • For a better understanding of water resourcesFacilitation assistance by A. de Cossy
    • Introduced by Alison Watts, Joseph Boyer, Marcy Lyman
    • An overview was presented on what we want to try to accomplish in this session. Brainstorm several concrete ideas, examples of where it’s working, and move at least one thing forward.
    • ____ – I’m still unclear. What are we trying to do with this discussion? Do you want examples of groups that are working, what’s the overall purpose? How to push regional collaborations? Need, how do we see that fit into a 5 year goal? What do we want to accomplish?
    • We’re interested in building this backbone organization, what are we supporting, what’s out there already, identify our area(s) of concentration.
    • Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) – We’ve got a tension that has come out this morning, big picture thinking vs. being able to articulate a specific mission; big picture vs. “show me” give me an example of what has worked. Put that on the table, watershed planning.
    • Collective impact models, nesting them in existing organizations, seems to work
    • What are the state’s needs that we should be focusing in on at a regional state level, PREP works because it’s a Great Bay issue, bigger issue is how do we prepare for climate change and resource/ resilience when it comes to water.
    • NHRA Scientists guy ___________ – I think we are successful because we made a decision early on that we wouldn’t run the agenda, but find out what the issues are and we facilitate the needs of the clients, the membership, to meet those issues, those needs. They set the agenda. Have stayed resilient because we define an over arching mission first, found out what did people need, provided facilitation to meet that need, to be sustainable you need to define those issues, facilitate the community of practice.
    • Pat Tarpey (Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association) – As someone trying to start this effort in the Lake Winnipesaukee effort, we are struggling, I could benefit from a group like this, giving a voice. Could use state resources to help move our effort forward? Marcy Lyman suggested: Send info offline after meeting, what is working, what is not working, what do you need?
    • Blair Folts (Green Mt Conservation Group) – What will our water crisis look like globally? Are we prepared to look at this? As water runs out elsewhere will they look to NH to provide water? Regionally, GMCG, and some towns had no zoning, some had strict regulations, have been successful, but less impact now because there is no “Crisis.”
    • Paul Susca (NHDES) – Collective impact idea that the steering committee, together with people working on same or related goals, find where do they intersect, what the steering committee struggled with is do we focus on the process? Which takes a long time, lose people, or work on some success stories and build from there?
    • ___________ – you have to do both
    • Michele Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – Keith Robinson (USGS) said the word “NEED”- needs assessment/logic model to plug in what you want to do. What do the groups think the need is? Need to determine, then talk about this over arching goal, and objectives you could bite off to get high impact wins along the way, so you’re not always in planning mode, between activities that help you meet your objective vs. don’t know that the organizations I work with are ready to go with this particular set of goals. Has to be defined more clearly. If engaging the public is the goal, then we need to do some things that affect people right away. (i.e. cost shares for septic systems, Lake Waukewan. Need the public engagement..just the type of example that we are looking for.
    • A model that seems to resonating around climate change, coastal and upper valley adaptation working group..they are talking about resiliency, water is the base topic, we all use it, metrics used for success, coastal working group, 4 years, successes, Sherry Godlweski, it is citizen driven, they define the agenda, these are great models, this group could provide the support
    • Monadnock is even across state lines, Reporting back is key
    • How is that funded?
    • Amanda Stone (UNH Cooperative Extension – UNHCE): Coastal adaptation work is funded in part thru NROC (Natural Resource Outreach Coalition), UNHCE works with groups to assess needs, Applied same NROC model, helps all of us reach common goal, resiliency, grants. Since it meets with or plugs into the mission of participating organizations, it is not an extra cost to them, but it meets their mission so it is staff funded. Is there a way a state wide organization duplicate that…I think so, with these regional groups, helps with that regional focus,…helps get your mind wrapped around it, rather than at the state level..but still has to be statewide initiative
    • I agree with that because it’s the coast, Monadnock region, the upper valley…not just geo- political organizations.
    • Need to transfer all the information to those other areas, place based vs state level…advocacy need, to get consistent results and recommendations, e.g. a bunch of climate change groups may not all come up the same recommendations.
    • Gregg Kapp (Anheuser-Busch) – What motivates people to participate? Is it that this is your drinking water? Or I don’t want my house to wash away a flood? Or you want make sure your lakes are clean? Answer? It’s all of them. Depends on where you live, sometimes, but all of them.
    • How do we measure which of those are most important. Has a survey been done? YES, surveys have been done….
    • Andrew Stone (American Groundwater Trust) – We need to know what everyone is doing, Next week we’re running our Realtor programs; well drilling associations; and the jewel in the crown, the NHDES Source water protection conference…state of the art.., if I knew what other folks were doing it would be easier to pick up the phone to collaborate, …(it’s not illegal, immoral or fattening..laughter).
    • Pat Tarpey (Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Assoc.) – That is an issue. That was the start of the Winnipesaukee effort. It brought the community together, but we don’t know who to call for what? We are trying to pull all that information together!
  • Michele Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – My thought of concrete things is the annual congress in Maine. Where are the needs, provide results, good to have those specific pilots and specific actions, groups should sit down and say what they are doing, work plan, consensus on who is doing what?

 

  • June Hammond-Rowan (Plymouth State University) – land use planning background, planning commissions should be included, granite state futures… water infrastructure is a theme in the action plan regional transportation planning too, but they are models there that are used to convening the communities,
  • Rachel Rouillard (PREP) – PREP examples could be useful: grant from NHCF, more cohesive, there were so many groups doing so many things, collective indicators, how are we measuring that progress, reporting back after reaching goals, setting next set of goals, NOAA fellow, to work on social indicators, how do they value Great Bay, water…vs behavior. Collective impact. Can replicate that model
  • Roger Krussman (Trust for Public Land) – coming from the land protection side of things, to mention a success – Blair Folts (Green Mt Conservation Group) has been involved in protecting natural infrastructure over the largest drift aquifer in the state; solely focused on protecting drinking water. Durham, too, has protected 170 acres of forest, to protect drinking water, both for the town and for UNH. Across the state communities are -have invested in the future of their drinking water. One of the things the backbone organization could do is address,…there is not much real collaboration between built and green infrastructure- but like NYC, after Sandy….LISS, the built and green infrastructures folks are being forced to work together, to solve that issue. These may be examples of true collaboration.
  • Kira Jacobs (EPA Region 1) – I work in all 6 NE states and we could learn a lot from other states. ME and CT have a source water collaborative. I was at a CT meeting on Friday, their constitution actually talks about water, clean water for everyone! Is that the case in NH? [Commisioner shook his head “No.”] Make this state competitive, brewery uses 10% of Pennichuck water shed, there are some great examples of where it’s working
  • Michele Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – Lake Waukewan, 10 yrs ago, getting people excited about protecting their water source, 30 communities, Central mass folks adding a drinking water component….funded by legislature, competitive in MASS. Merrimack, 5 state initiative , SPNHF…NRCS, committed, 19 mill proposal for CT river,

We are out of time. Great ideas, if you have more, there will be a discussion board to post comments, or send your ideas to Danna.

Wrapping up: need Potential pilots, move to action…PROPOSE some actions

Need local advocacy to support a statewide initiative; Goals and actions need to be more specific, and need to identify high level regional issues that state will be facing in the future.

 

 

Breakout Session 2: Water Infrastructure – Need, Economics and Funding

Introduced by John Gilbert, Sarah Pillsbury

Facilitation assistance by D. Truslow

 

Attendees: John Gilbert, Sarah Pillsbury, Colin Lawson, Michael Licata, Virgina Battles, Tom O’Brien, Will Abbott, Gene Forbes, Shannon Rogers, Mike Zankel, Jeff Barnum, Kris Blomback, Fred McNeill, Rob Johnson

 

John Gilbert: we are talking about green/grey, hard, natural infrastructure – thinking about it holistically

    • Think about topic as broadly as we can; each type of infrastructure has a role to play
    • Funding at the federal level may not come back, therefore, a lot will be funded at local and sub-regional level, even watershed by watershed basis, regional collaboration

Thought questions:

  • How does the infrastructure issue intersect with your organization? And your constituents?
  • Are there model or pilot programs that we can look at?

Update on SB-60 report by Sarah Pillsbury

  • Report came out about a year ago
  • Charged with how to finance grey infrastructure (public including dams, wastewater systems, stormwater, and drinking water (particularly community water supplies)
  • Sarah talked about topics and final recommendations in SB-60 report
  • How to fund? Possible Beverage Container Fee (4 cents)

What could we be doing to move the ball forward? Harness the respective organizations in the state?

  • Colin Lawson: done a lot of assessments on watershed scale or road/stream crossings based on ecological perspective, and now have built a vulnerability assessment model which gets at the infrastructure aspect. We have 3-4,000 road crossings assessed in state and that’s only about 20% of the state’s road crossings (VT is about 80% done – but they did not do the hydraulic approach on all crossings – used Rapid Assessment with many volunteers). NH is extremely far behind in helping our communities understand the current conditions of their road structures. Need to take a hard look at that and get a good base understanding to get a more accurate cost. DOT helped fund the hydraulic vulnerability model. USGS and UNH are also involved in it. But need a quarterback.
  • Bill Hounsell: Getting FEMA to help with funding; tied into municipal efforts and incorporate climate change
  • Mark Zankel: challenge with FEMA, hard to have them replace a blown out culvert with a larger, more climate resilient culvert; FEMA needs to change to preventative vs. emergency response
  • Tom O’Brien: there needs to be a policy track, which will tie into the funding
  • Colin: watershed approach is very important; look at infrastructure on a watershed basis (Ex. Mount Washington Valley), even though it will be addressed by political boundaries rather than watershed boundaries
  • Bill Hounsell: towns will work together if they have the resources and there are benefits (i.e. credit trading)
  • Fred McNeill: EPA regulates by community, not by watershed-based, so this watershed-based approach needs to get up into regulation on a national level
  • Will Abbott: we misunderstand what the public understands regarding the issues
    • Mistake to separate grey and green infrastructure into 2 different funding pots because public will not understand how watersheds work when you separate 2 fundamental aspects of them
  • Sarah Pillsbury (NHDES) – Use SR Loan Fund (SRF) for conservation at national level
  • Mark Zankel: Change is possible (ex. wetland mitigation programs used to be mitigate as close to the actual project as possible, but now put the money where it will help the watershed the most, not by town boundary
    • TNC assessment most important lands to conserve to try to protect water quality and what is the economic analysis
  • Virginia Battles: better chance of getting buy-in and receiving funding if organizations work together

11:10             Report back on Breakout sessions

What concrete actions can be taken and initiated?

Common Themes of Breakout Session 1: Marcy Lyman

  • Keep a high level goal
  • Pilot Projects
  • Climate Adaptation Working Groups (cross state lines and regional political boundaries)

Specific Actions of Breakout Session 1: Marcy Lyman

  • Need to do surveys to know already who is doing what in the state
  • Annual or bi-annual congress to share info and collaborate
  • Need more collaboration between built and natural infrastructure communities
    • Build local planning collaboration
  • Already collective impact models around water in the state (maybe nesting them)

Common Themes and Specific Actions of Breakout Session 2: Danna Truslow

  • Current Initiatives looking at grey and green infrastructure together: TU road crossing evaluation and collaboration with DOT to develop hydraulic vulnerability model

FEMA to pay for culvert replacement that will incorporate climate change requirements

  • community-based regulation (EPA) vs. watershed-based collaboration

General Discussion about Breakout Sessions:

  •  Tom O’Brien (NH Lakes Assoc.) – Need to look at very clear goals, public policy, green, grey, clear statements at the 30,000 foot view, taken from the regional view, that is not happening now, to bring some overarching sense of coherence
  • If you break it down, goals by section: Science, education, research, policy, funding, stakeholder capacity building(education )then each person knows where they belong, we know our strengths don’t have to debate a goal that does not fall into our strength
  • Should be multiple tracks in this initiative, including policy, science, economic analysis, funding, education,
    • Have clear statements, priorities, and goals around each of these tracks
    • Can get champions for each track and they fall into their strong suit
  •  We are all doing different things but we need each other, education, like strings …all are attached, good analogy (Is that string braided or wound…laughter.)
  • William Hounsell: consultants need to incorporate some of the green initiatives; giving that info to the municipalities
  •  John Gilbert (Steering Committee) – We need to go home with concrete steps, re-evaluate the current framework , if there’s something that was missed let us know, a MESSAGE Board would be helpful…can post on the website.
  • Tom O’Brien (NH Lakes Assoc.) – One thing we havent talked about is a home and funding. Good segue.

11:50             Next Steps – Danna Truslow and Anne de Cossy

  • An overview of Collective Impact
    •  Champion Recruitment
    • Coalition Development
    • Backbone Organization

Aspects of Collective Impact Approach:

  • Common agenda: will guide the organization, details, action plans, activities
  • Shared measurement
  • Baseline information: Do we have enough baseline information to start?
  • Mutually reinforcing activities that demonstrates the collective impact is working (model projects, who is already doing what? And what can be done by other organizations to reinforce each other) and continuous communication
  • Backbone support
  •  Anne de Cossy (Project Manager) – Priorities surfaced during the committee work. This meeting was the start – the first conversation, thank you all for coming…The second conversation will be about “champions” – Sense of urgency having someone who can champion your cause, represent your sector, access to funding, business, policy impact efforts. We are looking for diversity: 10 characteristics (List 10 characteristics below)
  • 60+ people, so far have been identified and ranked as prospective champions…There are approximately 30 “A” candidates. But before we contact anyone, we need to know, “What are we asking them to do?” SHARED agenda, shared vision, concrete action steps are important…today is a key step in campaign work. Moving forward, what are resources that are needed in terms of funding and in terms of a backbone organization?
  • Asked the steering committee, did we cover everything?
  • Danna Truslow (Project Manager) – We will get notes out and establish a way to keep this conversation going
  • Anne de Cossy (Project Manager) – we are looking to expand this group and keep the effort moving forward. It is really all of you who have a finger on the pulse of all these issues out there
  • Marcy Lyman (Steering Committee) – Encouraged people to participate in steering committee and make suggestions for champions.
  • John Gilbert (Steering Committee) – Thank you all for attending and your thoughtful participation today. We will share list of attendees and notes, share what the Steering Committee has distilled down.

WHAT should we be doing next?

  • Kira Jacobs (EPA Region 1) – Do a field tour. Go somewhere and see what’s going on in your watershed, CT collaborative, drinking water…Tour Pennichuck facility, Anheuser bush facility…GET OUT IN THE WATERSHED/ important, to step into the watershed and see what the partners/business are facing.
  • Tom O’Brien (NH Lakes Assoc.) – Can the steering committee present something during the Budget session? SB 60 and SB 388, tracking budget hearings, attend and speak? Post the dates of the hearings? Should the steering committee be there, a presence to represent us, to get some traction and visibility? Look for key bills that we should know about? During budget hearings, get before them, to introduce the organization…Sign on letter (Michele Tremblay)
  • John or Marcy?: This is what we are talking about, to provide an umbrella organization to represent and coordinate and to be communicating on these issues…not trying to replicate what is already being done out there but to leverage it.
  • Energy seems to dominate the conversation, in my world water just as important, need to elevate the importance of water in those same circles as climate change and carbon, etc…Add water to that conversation.
  • We have an issue with dams, no way to pay into that, to maintain them, possible impact of weather patterns and the cost of energy, what if we fixed our dams, upkeep of dams for hydropower..There is a way to interconnect these…balancing, competing interests…
  • Michele Tremblay (NH Rivers Council) – except some of us are trying to rip those dams out…
  • John Gilbert (Steering Committee) – well we need to have a conversation about various issues…

12:15                     John Gilbert, Chair – Where do we go from here?

  •  Let’s tour Fred’s plant, water treatment plant, as long as we can end at Anheuser (with some free samples). Franklin…Need a way to communicate plants that are being successful around the state.
  • The greatest flush in America is at super bowl halftime..lol. talk about collective impact.
  • Requires more than those of us who are “at this” every day, we need to get to a higher level , if you want to add value and help us reach where we’re going….we welcome your input on the committee
  • Tom Burack (NHDES Commissioner) – Purposely have stayed quiet till now, watching, listening. Really want to thank you, …cannot echo enough thank you for being here today: Critical conversation here in the state, … a key determinant in how successful we will be in our quality of life and for many generations to come, our long term success… currently we are water rich…for sometime..means a lot more eyes will be on us in the future, need to take the time now to …and protect the resource we have, he are collectively we encourage you folks to get involved, engaged, how do we do this, and help us ID who is more visible to champion this effort and who are the folks who would be able to fund this…
  • John Gilbert (Steering Committee) – Donor funded $30,000 initial funding, not renewed so we need to explore other options on additional funding, where can we find those resources?

Thank you and encourage everyone to get involved

  • Blair Folts (Green Mt Conservation Group) – If we can get all those little groups, ” healthy waters healthy communities” like us, we’re small & scrappy but we get it done……
  • Tom Burack (NHDES Commissioner) – Need a group to came up with a plan and a budget,…provide input as to what a plan would look like, what the funding needs would be, private, federal, doesn’t take a whole lot of money to do this but it takes something, package it altogether and make it more attractive to foundations, funders, donors. We will be as creative as we can but what would make a difference: if we can agree on a common agenda with a whole lot of groups saying “This is what we need…not what we want…but what we need. as a state..

 

 

 

 

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