Alabama Water Watch Association Updates by Mike Kensler, President of the AWWA Board

Mike enjoying the shimmering waters of the Tallapoosa

The AWWA Board of Directors is small, but dedicated.  One high priority of the Board is to broaden, deepen, and strengthen the Board by adding expertise and capacity – for example, adding legal, accounting, and fundraising capacities of the board while retaining representation from monitors and other citizen supporters of Water Watch.

The Good

The Board is creating a new AWW Association Advisory Board to provide advice and counsel to the AWWA Board of Directors on a range of policy, education, fundraising, and organizational development issues.  Longtime AWW supporters and founding board members Francine Hutchinson and Dick Bronson have agreed to be Advisors, as has Eve Brantley, former AWWA Board President.

The Not So Good

Membership remains very low in numbers and does not reflect either the support for Alabama Water Watch around the state, nor does it reflect the value and impact AWW provides for the citizens of Alabama.  To date (for FY 13 October 1, 2012-April 23, 2013) AWWA has 40 members; one watershed group has donated to AWWA; total contributions equal $4819.78.

The Great!

However – there is a new day for Alabama Water Watch after the funding loss from ADEM.  Hometown heroes, such as College of Agriculture Dean William Batchelor, Water Resources Director Sam Fowler, ACES Director Gary Lemme, and ACES Associate Director Paul Brown, and all recognized the value of AWW to Auburn University and stepped in to ensure that the AWW Program will continue to be housed and receive financial support from Auburn University

AWWA is prioritizing efforts to work with our partners and colleagues around the state to educate and train citizens and groups to utilize the powerful knowledge contained in the AWW database.  The Association recognizes that the power of the 20-year record of scientifically credible data housed by the AWW Program in its database lies not in the EXISTENCE of that database, but in its USE to restore and protect waterbodies and watersheds, and to advocate for strong and wise water management and policy.  The data also should be used to tell the truth when agencies are not fulfilling their legal and ethical responsibilities to protect the public interest.  We believe this is our right and responsibility as citizens.

AWWA is aggressively seeking funding to support programming, and continues to tell the AWW story around the state to build awareness and membership support for Alabama Water Watch.  If we each do our part, as citizens and as supporters of Water Watch, our success is assured.

To read about additional accomplishments of AWWA download the AWWA Brief Report of Activities FY Oct. 2012-May 2013 by clicking here.