Watershed Improvement Implementation and Project Funding, Gwinnett County, Georgia
Gwinnett County completed a Watershed Impact Assessment and Watershed Protection Plan in 2000 that identified the need for improvements in areas of the County that have been adversely impacted as a result stormwater runoff. To address these conditions, the County began a comprehensive, performance-based Watershed Improvement Planning (WIP) program focused on improving and protecting water quality and conditions in streams. Included in the WIPs are prioritized lists of Capital Improvement Project (CIP) recommendations such as Best Management Practice implementation and stream restoration and stabilization projects. To date we have completed WIPs for approximately 290 square miles, or 2/3 of the County, with Capital Improvement recommendation on the order of $150,000,000. Due to lack of funding, initially about the only means to implement recommended Capital Improvements was to scrounge for leftover funds in unspent budgets or apply for Grants and hope our applications would be successful. As a result of WIP efforts, however, policies and programs have been developed, or have evolved, to fund recommended watershed improvements. The following identifies some of the funding sources being use to implement WIP/CIP recommendations at a number of locations in Gwinnett County.