Within County drainage districts, the Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for accounting of expenditures and financial statements, for maintaining records of the establishment and operation of each, and for conducting routine maintenance of the drains. Major drain projects (generally defined as those with costs in excess of $5,000 per mile) are initiated by citizens or municipality(s) through a petition process. Costs are recovered through special assessments levied on private properties, local governments, county roads, railroads, and state highways.
The Water Resources Commissioner is responsible for review and approval of storm water management systems in private developments under the Michigan Land Division Act and in response to local governments' development review procedures. Washtenaw's Design Standards, cited as a model for the Great Lakes States, are being implemented by neighboring Livingston and Wayne counties.
Water Resources Office staff are also participants in the County's environmental emergency response system, providing materials and staff assistance to contain pollution situations and prevent surface and groundwater contamination.