Shared by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Valerie Marcil, president of the Gills Creek Watershed Association in South Carolina, recently wrote a superb op-ed regarding how to prevent future loss of life and property damage by instituting more responsible use and maintenance of watershed areas.
I agree with Ms. Marcil’s perspective with regard to creating a public oversight district.
I would like to add that for 5 decades the real estate industry has been building private HOA lake communities. That in turn, has handed control of our valuable and vulnerable watershed resources to private homeowner volunteers and profit-driven developers. History tells us that private owners often lack the expertise or the financial discipline to protect these resources, resulting in loss of life and property.
In addition to increased risk of catastrophic flooding, this misguided privatization policy has also degraded the quality of our water, thus increasing the need for extensive and costly treatment to make it safe to drink.
Marcil: Gills Creek Watershed needs long-term governance
Healthy watershed allows stormwater to soak in rather than becoming concentrated run-off
More than 30 percent of the Gills Creek watershed is developed, with much of the floodplain and even floodway built upon
Public investment makes sense, given public benefits of well-managed watershed