- The Plan
- 1 Watershed Community Initiative
- 2-1 Watershed Inventory
- 2-2 Subwatershed Summary
- 2-3 Subwatershed Summary and Rankings
- 3 Identify Problems
- 4 Identify Causes, Sources and Load Reductions
- 5 Set Goals and Identify Critical Areas
- 6 – Measures/BMPs to Apply
- Section 7 – Action Register and Schedule
- Section 8 – Tracking Effectiveness Evaluating Plan Performance
The Geist Watershed Alliance is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization focused on the improvement and protection of Geist Reservoir’s water quality. Its membership consists of many types of stakeholders seeking to ensure that the lake will remain a healthy recreational and drinking water resource within the Central Indiana region.
In order to accomplish its mission of improving and protecting the water quality of the reservoir, the GWA must meet several goals:
Establish public awareness programs to:
- Educate the Geist Community at large about its impact on the lake;
- Inform residents, business owners, community leaders and developers about the steps they can take to prevent future problems;
- Work with other watershed groups to raise awareness statewide about water quality issues.
Develop solutions for improving the quality of the water:
- Conduct studies to determine which nutrient sources most dramatically affect the lake;
- Implement remediation measures to reduce nutrient levels in the lake;
- Investigate alternative products and practices that will prevent detrimental run-off from polluting the lake.
As a means for achieving these goals, the alliance will pursue a variety of fund raising options, including grants, sponsorships, donations and partnerships. In addition, it will rely on the efforts of community volunteers to help spread the word about the importance of protecting Geist’s most valuable feature – its reservoir.
Following the drought and subsequent toxic blue-green algal bloom during the summer of 2007, a number of concerned residents came together and began seeking solutions to prevent the reservoir’s problems from escalating. A connection was made with Dr. Lenore Tedesco of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) at IUPUI, who delivered a presentation to the Geist Community, educating them about the causes of the algal bloom, and recommending an initial course of action.
As the community learned that day, residents had been unknowingly fortifying the water with nutrients, including phosphorus and nitrogen, which fed the algae and other aquatic plants. The extremely high temperatures made the situation worse by allowing the algae population to dramatically increase. The community also learned that the situation will not go away until the water’s nutrient levels decrease, which means immediate attention must be paid to the most critical causes – lawn care fertilizers and sediment run-off.
Recognizing that home values and drinking water quality rely on the health of Geist Reservoir, residents mobilized and formed the Geist Watershed Alliance which is operating in partnership with the Upper White River Watershed Alliance, and in alignment with other community watershed groups. With the assistance and support of numerous other groups, including Veolia Water and the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, the GWA is just beginning its efforts to find solutions and educate the community about its direct impact on the lake.
Need more information or want to get involved? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.