In an effort to better serve Southeast and Coastal Georgia, The Coastal Rivers Water Planning & Policy Center tapped the thoughts of several key stakeholders on water issues in our region.
The Center was created in 2001 with a continuing mission to "assist policymakers in the formulation of policy designs to best manage sustainable economic growth and natural resource conservation via water planning, research, education and technical assistance." In order to best accomplish this mission, it is necessary for us to engage stakeholders in our region to determine those issues of critical importance.
The Listening Project is designed to identify the perspective of water users throughout the Coastal Rivers Region by listening to the actual concerns and ideas for improvement of those who have a stake in the water future of the region. Using this information, the Center can better meet the research needs of stakeholders in the region.
The objective of the first round of listening sessions is to identify issues, and not to take a quantitative measure of any given constituency. Thus, the results of the process do not lend themselves to conclusions that any one constituency has a certain viewpoint, but rather gives an idea for the type of issues that arise when representatives of one particular constituency gather to discuss their hopes and fears around the future of water use in Coastal Georgia region.
The balance of this paper is organized in the following way: In Section II we discuss the process used in this first round of five listening sessions. In Section III we report the verbatim ideas of the participants in each of the five sessions. Section IV reports the same verbatim ideas put forward by the participants, but the ideas are organized according to dominant themes emerging from the sessions, where various constituencies' ideas on each theme are easily readable in the same place. Finally, in Section V we offer concluding remarks and describe our plans for Phase II of the project. Working Paper Number 2005-001