Watershed Committee of the Ozarks is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 whose mission is to sustain and improve the water resources of Springfield and Greene County through education and effective management of the region’s watersheds
History of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks
In 1983, the Chair of the Board of Public Utilities, N. L. “Mac” McCartney, sent a memo to Springfield Mayor Harry Strawn. The memo began: “With your concurrence, I have appointed an ad hoc task force to develop a program for the protection of surface and subsurface watersheds which supply Springfield and the surrounding area with drinking water.” It was a prophetic statement and a visionary approach. Development was encroaching into the drinking watersheds and officials worried about whether public policies and programs would effectively protect our precious drinking water supplies.
In November 1983, the Task Force issued its report and recommendations, many of which are pertinent and instructive even today. One recommendation centered on the need for a permanent body whose primary purpose would be oversight and protection of public drinking water sources. From this recommendation, the Watershed Management Coordinating Committee was established. In 1989, the organization became a non-profit corporation and changed its name to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. The Committee adopted a six-member board, comprised of three citizen appointees representing the respective sponsors and three at-large positions.
The Watershed Committee holds its public meetings on the first Friday of every month at 7:30 a.m. at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library. At these meetings watershed issues and concerns are discussed by a wide variety of stakeholders.