A new strategic plan envisions a more resilient watershed

The Green River Watershed is the primary source of Tacoma’s drinking water and provides ecological benefits to the region. Tacoma Water developed a Watershed Strategic Plan that outlines a comprehensive strategy to prioritize and focus our work in the watershed over the next five years. Our three focus areas of leadership, resiliency, and source water protection will guide us to deliver on our mission of being stewards of the watershed and providing ecological benefit to the region.

The Green River Watershed covers approximately 148,000 acres of forestland in the upper portions of the Green-Duwamish Watershed. Public and private landowners (including Tacoma Water) own parts of the municipal watershed. Tacoma Water owns about 11% of the lands around the Green River, major tributaries, and mountain lakes to protect water quality and preserve fish and wildlife habitat. We work closely with the other landowners to ensure the watershed continues to provide high quality water to meet the needs of people and fish.

As stewards of the watershed, the Watershed Services team developed a list of objectives for each focus area to guide decisions and activities and ensure they align with our mission and vision. After identifying focus areas and goals, they prioritized 16 initiatives that represent the workgroup’s priorities, reflect the values of the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Utilities, and Tacoma Water, and provide the best value to ratepayers.

“This strategy provides a vehicle to carry forward priority work that the utility has identified,” said Jesse Narog, assistant division manager for Watershed Services. “We identified many of these projects years ago but had no mechanism to implement them. The strategy defines our goals, prioritizes the work, and establishes an accountability framework through which we’ll pursue it.”

The plan will cover five years of work in the watershed. The utility will revisit the plan to modify it or create a new strategy at the end of that period.

To increase your knowledge about how we manage the watershed and read the plan, go to MyTPU.org/Watershed.

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