Outreach with External Stakeholder Groups

The WQTF facilitated a process to allow input and discussion with diverse stakeholders and key governance actors / decision-makers about the structure, priorities, and content of a new CFAES Ohio Water-Quality Initiative. 

Synthesis of existing reports, plans, and surveys

We systematically reviewed the existing literature generated by stakeholder groups and state/regional governance organizations that identify priorities for water-quality research, extension, and education efforts; results of surveys of the general public; etc.

Focus Groups

In summer 2018, the WQTF held five focus group meetings with representatives of distinct stakeholders and decision-makers/governance actors.  These focus groups provided an opportunity for our non-OSU stakeholders and partners to highlight examples of successful CFAES projects and programs, and to identify ways in which the future WQI could be designed to be more strategic and impactful.  Discussion was guided by the following types of questions: 

  • What are the most pressing water quality challenges facing Ohio that the initiative should address?
  • Over the last 5-10 years, in what ways have you and your organization interacted with OSU (and CFAES) on water quality issues?
  • What are some of the BEST things that OSU/CFAES have done to help address water quality challenges in Ohio?
  • What are some of the LESS successful things that OSU/CFAES have done related to water quality issues?
  • What specific activities should the college initiate that would help you and your organization work on water quality issues?

Groups we engaged include:

  • Agricultural, Farming & Commodity Interests (completed May 2018)
  • Environmental & Conservation interests (completed May 2018)
  • Federal Agencies
  • Rural Local Governments
  • Urban Local Governments


A detailed report of the recommendations shared in our focus group discussions is available here.  The report also includes input received via phone interviews and a survey instrument from stakeholders where scheduling focus groups was impractical.