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City of Columbus Water Master Plan and Land Stewardship Updates


Comprehensive Water Master Plan and Land Stewardship Updates

Columbus, Ohio
The Water Master Plan and Land Stewardship Program preserve and protect the City’s drinking water supply while providing tools for sustainable land use within the watershed.
Hoover Reservoir is one of four raw drinking water supply reservoirs owned and operated by the City of Columbus. The Land Stewardship Program seeks to find a balance between recreation and drinking water supply uses.

Coldwater is participating on two multi-disciplinary teams to assist the City of Columbus with updates to the Comprehensive Water Master Plan and the Land Stewardship Program. The Comprehensive Water Master Plan provides a roadmap for maintaining the region’s water supply and infrastructure to serve current needs and future growth. Coldwater is assisting with the watershed management and source-water protection component of the master plan updates. The Land Stewardship Program is one of the City’s source-water protection measures. The program is designed to protect source water while allowing for public access and recreation at three of the City-owned reservoirs.

Coldwater is assisting with a review of the City’s existing watershed management and source-water protection programs, summarizing program progress, and providing recommendations for additional management and protection measures. In response to recommendations made in the 2017 Watershed Master Plan, the City has taken actions to improve watershed conservation, water intake protection, and reservoir property management. Coldwater provided additional recommendations to strengthen and enhance these programs and address new challenges as land use changes.

In response to a comprehensive review of the program, updates to the Land Stewardship Program are currently underway. The City of Columbus owns and operates four raw drinking water supply reservoirs, three of which are surrounded by a buffer of City-owned land managed for the protection of reservoir water quality and shoreline health. The Land Stewardship Program provides a process for adjacent landowners to use City property for reservoir access. Program updates include revisions to the Land Stewardship Design Standards and development of Land Stewardship Plans for each adjacent property. In preparation for plan development, Coldwater assisted with a comprehensive survey of existing habitat and current land use surrounding each reservoir. Coldwater is also providing technical reviews of program manuals and guidance documents.


Biological Assessments
Technical Reviews

Vegetation Management
Grant Research
Public Outreach