Water is integral to life, and VNRC’s Water Program is a leader in the protection, restoration and enhancement of Vermont’s water resources. Vermont is blessed with abundant high quality rivers, lakes, and wetland complexes.  Exceptional water resources are irreplaceable elements of Vermont’s landscape and natural heritage, and are essential to the lives of all Vermonters. The management of these water resources is a continuous process, and sometimes requires difficult choices. VNRC is committed to ensuring that conservation and stewardship, rooted in sound scientific research, public education, and advocacy, are all part of this process.

A priority of the program is to ensure that scientific information is brought to bear in statewide policy discussions related to streams, lakes and wetlands, and groundwater.

The program currently works on issues related to groundwater protection and regulation – as reflected in Act 199 of 2008 and wetland rules – as reflected in the 2010 Vermont Wetland Rules.  In addition, promoting river science is a high priority for the program.

The Water Program at VNRC focuses on:

  • Aggressively pursuing the full implementation of Vermont’s water quality standards, and seeking appropriate classifications and designations for all Vermont waters and a meaningful anti-degradation rule.
  • Encouraging and promoting stormwater controls and proper agricultural and silvicultural management practices to reduce the negative effects of non-point source runoff into our waters.
  • Protecting aquatic biological diversity, ecologically important natural systems, and the connectivity of Vermont’s lowland and upland aquatic habitats.
  • Actively participating in planning and management for Vermont’s waters to ensure that our polluted waters are cleaned up and our clean waters stay clean.

The water program regularly testifies as expert witnesses at public hearings, legislative hearings, and judicial proceedings on issues of priority to VNRC.

Program director:  Kim L. Greenwood, CPESC 802-223-2328 x119 kgreenwood@vnrc.org

Water Projects

Dam Operation and Licensing

VNRC focuses on the removal of dams that no longer serve useful purposes and supports increasing the efficiency of existing, operating hydro-electric dams.

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VNRC believes that strong environmental laws are only as good as the enforcement that backs them up and will continue to push for strong and even-handed enforcement of our environmental laws.

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Groundwater is a hidden, but invaluable, natural resource that is the source of drinking water for about two-thirds of all Vermonters. VNRC has been working with towns that choose to take a proactive approach on groundwater protection.

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Sound river science leads to better protections not only for our infrastructure and public safety, but also for the ecology of rivers. VNRC strongly supports the science-based approach that the state Agency of Natural Resources has taken to managing our rivers.

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Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater pollution coming from roads, rooftops and parking lots contributes to the degredation of our waters. VNRC believes that the cost of preventing and cleaning up the pollution should be borne more by polluters, less by taxpayers.

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Vermont Water Quality Standards

The Vermont Water Quality Standards (VWQS) serve as the foundation for protecting Vermont’s vital and precious water resources.  Federal law requires that the VWQS to be subject to public review at least every three years, and VNRC participates in those periodic updates.

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Wetlands are important natural resources. They help control flooding, minimize erosion, purify water, and offer habitat for Vermont’s flora and fauna. In recent years, VNRC has helped advance legislation and regulatory changes that add protections for wetlands and we continue to be vigilant in protecting these important natural features.

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drake mallard_2-2_2Caucus

The mission of the VNRC Water Caucus is to better involve the environmental community in the development and implementation of sound water policy and legislation in Vermont. The Caucus will bring relevant information to watershed organizations and other interested parties to enable them to engage on these issues in a constructive, efficient and effective manner.

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