EPA Water Utility Climate Resilience Pilots Announced

EPA has announced that it will provide up to $600,000 in training and technical assistance to help drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utilities in more than 20 communities bolster their climate change resilience and readiness  These communities will participate in a multi-year pilot program using EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) software that helps users identify assets, threats and adaptation options to help reduce risk from climate change such as droughts, more intense and frequent storms, flooding, sea-level rise and changes to water quality.

The communities receiving assistance from EPA include:  ​Auburn, AL; ​Austin and Houston, TX; ​Blair, NE; ​Bozeman and Helena, MT; Faribault, MN; ​Fredericktown, MO; ​Haworth, NJ; ​Henryville, IN; ​Hillsboro, KS; ​Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA; ​Nome, AR; ​Norfolk, VA; ​Portsmouth, NH; ​Redwood Valley, CA; ​Sandpoint, Idaho; and the Seminole Tribe, FL.

For more information, visit EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) web site.

EPA Awards Great Lakes HABs Grants to Ohio, Michigan and Indiana

EPA has awarded four Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants totaling over $8.6 million to Ohio, Michigan and Indiana state agencies to protect public health by targeting harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie.  These Great Lake Restoration Initiative grants to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (approximately $5.9 million), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (over $1.5 million), the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (approximately $807,000) and the Indiana Department of Agriculture (approximately $360,000) will fund eight projects.  The grants will be used to provide technical assistance and incentives to farmers in western Lake Erie watersheds to reduce phosphorus runoff that contributes to harmful algal blooms, and to improve measurement of phosphorus loads in Lake Erie tributaries.  The recently released GLRI Action Plan lays out a strategy for increased federal efforts to reduce agricultural and urban runoff in these priority watersheds during 2015-19.

For more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and to view the Action Plan:  visit the web site at http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/glri/.

Now Available – CWA-SDWA Toolkit to Protect Sources of Drinking Water

We are very pleased to announce the availability of the Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water and Advance Watershed Goals Through the Clean Water Act: A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal and Federal Water Program Managers.  This Toolkit is designed to enable state and EPA water quality practitioners to better protect drinking water supplies using regulatory and non-regulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act and achieve mutual goals – better protected sources of drinking water and improved water quality. A one page fact sheet about the Toolkit is also provided, for your reference.

The Toolkit is the result of a multi-year effort by state and EPA water quality managers across clean water and safe drinking water programs. The group drew on expertise and examples of success from many states to provide the most promising opportunities to address complex water quality challenges that could benefit from a coordinated and collaborative approach, leveraging all available tools and resources.  This Toolkit:

  • identifies opportunities to reduce pollution in drinking water sources by using CWA tools;
  • provides examples of on-the-ground implementation;
  • demonstrates how program managers can align their efforts to protect source water through a combination of actions and institutional relationships that facilitate cross-program coordination at the national, regional, state, and watershed scales to achieve common objectives; and
  • shows how state clean water programs can leverage the high value that consumers place on public health protection and safe drinking water to increase public support for addressing surface and ground water quality challenges more effectively.

We plan to hold webinars, in the near future, to delve into the Toolkit in detail and provide some case examples of how it can be used.  But, please don’t wait for those webinars.  The Toolkit is “good to go” and can be used now to support coordination and collaboration between safe drinking water and clean water managers. FYI, the Toolkit is also being disseminated by state and EPA clean water managers to their respective networks.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Toolkit.

WaterRF Fact Sheet — Ebola: Not Waterborne Illness

Ebola is not a foodborne, waterborne, or airborne illness. The virus is transmitted to humans
from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids (e.g., blood, vomit,
feces).1,3 The Ebola virus can only replicate within host cells. Therefore, it cannot survive long
in water because it does not have its host — either a human or an animal.  See the Fact Sheet.

EPA Proposed Waters of the US Rule Comment Period Extended (Again) to November 14th

EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) are extending the public comment period for the second time on the Proposed Waters of the US Rule to Friday, November 14, 2014.  The extension is being made to allow for the completion of the Scientific Advisory Board’s (SAB) peer review on the connectivity of streams and wetlands, and to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the SAB review.  EPA and the COE are continuing to meet with stakeholders during the comment period to explain the proposal, answer questions, and hold discussions.

Information about the proposed rule can be found at www.epa.gov/uswaters.

EPA and CEQ Launch Collaborative to Advance Green Infrastructure 

On October 8th, EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced the formation of a broad collaborative to advance the use of green infrastructure in communities across the country.  The Green Infrastructure Collaborative will leverage efforts from federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academia to advance the adoption of green infrastructure to support water quality and community development goals.  More information about this initiative is available through the following link:  Learn more.

EPA Publishes New Flood Resilience Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities

EPA’s Water Security Division is pleased to announce the release of their newest tool called Flood Resilience: A Basic Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities. Drinking water and wastewater utilities are particularly vulnerable to flooding, which can damage pumps, disconnect chemical tanks, break distribution lines and disrupt power supplies. Targeted to small and medium utilities, the Flood Resilience Guide outlines a simple, 4-step assessment process to help any water utility understand their flooding threat and identify practical mitigation options to protect their critical assets. With a user-friendly layout, the Guide provides worksheets, instructional videos, and flood maps to help utilities through the process. For outreach to the water sector, EPA has partnered with Rural Water organizations in several states to co-present training on flood resilience.  EPA also intends to conduct a national webinar to further promote the Flood Resilience Guide. You can download the tool from EPA’s website at www.water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity.

via EPA Publishes New Flood Resilience Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.

September 30 Webinar on Continuous Water Quality Monitoring

On Tuesday, September 30 at 2:00pm (eastern), Aquatic Informatics Inc. & YSI Inc. will host a free webinar entitled, “Expert Tips for Continuous Water Quality Monitoring.” During the webinar, Dustin Shull from the Pennsylvania DEP, Timothy Finegan from YSI / Xylem, and David Gilbey from Aquatic Informatics will share strategies for turning continuous data from your unattended stations into water quality insight.  Adding time series data to your monitoring program empowers you with high resolution environmental data. Join Dustin as he shares results and lessons learned from the Pennsylvania Continuous Instream Monitoring (CIM) program. Learn how you can reliably collect continuous data for the most common water quality parameters using EXO instrumentation. Discover how to leverage AQUARIUS Time-Series to process and analyze your water data.  Register HERE.

HUD Launches $1 Billion National Disaster Resilience Competition

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation has launched a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition.  The competition makes $1 billion available to eligible communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition promotes risk assessment and planning and will fund the implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for future storms and other extreme events. This competition responds to requests from state, local, and tribal leaders who have asked the federal government to help them prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change and support investments in more resilient infrastructure.

Eligible ApplicantsThere are 67 eligible applicants for the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition.  All states with counties that experienced a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster in 2011, 2012 or 2013 are eligible to submit applications that address unmet needs as well as vulnerabilities to future extreme events, stresses, threats, hazards, or other shocks in areas that were most impacted and distressed as a result of the effects of the Qualified Disaster.

Overview of Phases:  The National Disaster Resilience Competition is a year-long competition structured in two phases: (1) the framing phase and (2) the implementation phase. Phase 1 applications will be due in March 2015.  Successful applicants in Phase 1 will be invited to participate in Phase 2 to design solutions for recovery and resilience. Phase 2 applications must also include an analysis for any proposed projects with an account of the social and ecological benefits and costs as a consideration.   The best proposals from Phase 2 will receive funds for implementation and will demonstrate how communities across the country can build a more resilient future.  HUD expects to make final award announcements in late 2015.

Read more on the National Disaster Resilience Competition.


September 24 Continuous Monitoring for Nutrients Webinar

On September 24th, The National Water Quality Monitoring Council will host a webinar entitled, “Continuous Monitoring for Nutrients: State of the Technology and State of the Science,”
and featuring a presentation by Brian Pellerin of the U.S. Geological Survey.

ABSTRACT: Making water quality measurements that capture rapid changes due to storms and other events has long been a challenge for accurately measuring the sources, loads and cycling of nutrients in lakes, rivers and streams.  However, advances in situ sensor technology and communications over the last 10 years has revolutionized the way water quality monitoring and research can be conducted.  In particular, in situ optical sensor measurements for nutrients such as nitrate and orthophosphate are yielding significant insights into the sources and timing of nutrient transport, as well as real-time data for decision support.  This talk will present the state of the technology for continuous monitoring of nutrients in rivers and streams and several examples from USGS studies that highlight the opportunities, challenges and importance of making comparable, high quality measurements in our Nation’s waterways.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 24th at 1:00 p.m. EDT (10:00 a.m. PDT)
Please login 5 minutes early; see instructions below to join the webinar.

For additional details, please see the attached flyer.  Webinar_14Sept24

Webex Link: https://doilearn.webex.com/doilearn/tc (hint: may need to copy and paste link into browser)
Click on “join” next to: NWQMC: Continuous Monitoring for Nutrients: State of the Technology and State of the Science
Password: Council

Call in number: 1-866-299-3188
Access code: 5661187#

The webinar is free and no pre-registration is required.