Ohio Water Advisory Council (OWAC)

In 1984 the Ohio Legislature passed a law recorded in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 1521.031.

1521.031 Ohio water advisory council.

There is hereby created in the department of natural resources the Ohio water advisory council. The council shall consist of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. No more than four of the members shall be of the same political party. Members shall be persons who have a demonstrated interest in water management and whose expertise reflects the various responsibilities of the division of water resources under this chapter and Chapter 1523. of the Revised Code, including, but not limited to, dam safety, surface water, groundwater, and flood plain management. The chief of the division of water resources may participate in the deliberations of the council, but shall not vote.

Terms of office of members shall be for two years commencing on the second day of February and ending on the first day of February. Each member shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which appointed. The governor may remove any member at any time for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or incapacity of any member, the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a successor to hold office for the remainder of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed. Any member shall continue in office following the expiration date of the member’s term until the member’s successor takes office or until sixty days have elapsed, whichever occurs first. Membership on the council does not constitute holding a public office or position of employment under the Revised Code and is not grounds for removal of public officers or employees from their offices or positions of employment.

The council annually shall select from its members a chairperson and a vice-chairperson. The council shall hold at least one meeting each calendar quarter and shall keep a record of its proceedings, which shall be open to the public for inspection. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson and shall be called upon the written request of two or more members. A majority of the members constitutes a quorum. The division shall furnish clerical, technical, legal, and other services required by the council in the performance of its duties.

Members shall receive no compensation, but shall be reimbursed from the appropriations for the division for the actual and necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of their official duties.

The council shall:

(A) Advise the chief of the division of water resources in carrying out the duties of the division under this chapter and Chapter 1523. of the Revised Code;

(B) Recommend such policy and legislation with respect to water management and conservation as will promote the economic, industrial, and social development of the state while minimizing threats to the state’s natural environment;

(C) Review and make recommendations on the development of plans and programs for long-term, comprehensive water management throughout the state; and

(D) Recommend ways to enhance cooperation among governmental agencies having an interest in water to encourage wise use and protection of the state’s ground and surface waters. To this end, the council shall request nonvoting representation from appropriate governmental agencies.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 1/1/2016.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 10-15-1984 .