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.

Two National Opportunities to Promote the Protection of Groundwater in September

Two national events are taking place during the month of September to help raise public awareness about the importance of protecting groundwater and practicing well water and septic stewardship for the health of the public and the environment.  The “Protect Your Groundwater Day” and “Septic Smart Week” campaigns both provide useful, educational information to share through your web sites, social media, newsletters, news releases, events, and other avenues.  As our colleagues at the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) remind us, groundwater is often out of sight and out of mind for most people.  Here are some interesting Groundwater Facts to share:

·         Groundwater makes up 99 percent of all available fresh water in the world and is connected from beneath to most surface water bodies.

·         Groundwater supplies much of the water to our country’s more than 40,000 community drinking water systems, especially in small towns and rural areas.

·         Groundwater is also the source water supply for 13 million households on private water wells in America.

·         Groundwater supplies 53.5 billion gallons of water a day for agriculture.

 

Protect Your Groundwater Day (September 9): Visit the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) web page for some helpful resources from NGWA to promote this special day.  For questions and to become a promotional partner, please contact Cliff Treyens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org or 614-898-7791.

·         NGWA’s www.wellowner.org web site includes helpful resources and practical information for private well owners about maintaining and testing wells, preventing contamination, and conserving water.

·         Water conservation basics, tips and water use calculator

·         Protect Your Groundwater Day logo

·         Promotional Partners page  lists all the Federal, state and local organizations that have said “yes” to being a 2014 PYGWD promotional partner so far (including ASDWA).

 

Septic Smart Week (September 22-26): Visit EPA’s SepticSmart web page where you will find information and resources on how to care for and properly maintain your septic system, as well as a downloadable logo and a Homeowner outreach toolkit that includes a door hanger, postcards, homeowner’s guides and brochures, and a mail insert.  For more information about septic and decentralized systems, as well as EPA’s Decentralized MOU Partnership and voluntary guidelines for state, tribal, and local officials, go to: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/septic/.  For questions, email: decentralized@epa.gov.

 

Forest Service Extends Groundwater Directive Public Comment Period to September 3rd

On July 31st, the U.S. Forest Service announced a 30-day extension (until September 3rd) in the amount of time the public has to comment on a proposal to clarify the agency’s direction for groundwater.  The proposed directive on groundwater resource management was  published in the May 6 Federal Register.  The proposal is intended to help the Forest Service maintain and enhance water resources on national forests and grasslands.

 

The Forest Service’s further rationale for the directive is as follows:  “Currently, the Forest Service does not have a consistent approach to evaluating the potential effects to groundwater from the multiple surface uses of National Forest System (NFS) lands, or the role that groundwater plays in ecosystem function on NFS land. Nor does it have a consistent approach to responding to proposals that require Forest Service authorization when those proposals might impact groundwater resources.  The proposed directives would create a more consistent approach for the Forest Service to evaluate and monitor the effects to groundwater from actions on national forest system lands. By improving the agency’s ability to understand groundwater resources, the proposed directive would make the agency a better and more consistent partner to States, tribes and project proponents.”

New USDA Conservation Partnership Program Receives Nearly 600 Initial Proposals

On August 4, USDA issued a press release announcing that nearly 5,000 organizations partnered together to submit nearly 600 pre-proposals for the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) by the July deadline.  The RCPP offers funding for conservation projects designed by local partners (including water utilities) to improve soil health, water quality and water use efficiency, wildlife habitat, and other related natural resources on private lands.  ASDWA was pleased to learn from one state drinking water program (Iowa) that they had participated in meetings and provided state data to one of their communities that submitted a pre-proposal for the RCPP.  To view the RCPP press release, visit the USDA web site.

Protect Your Groundwater Day is Coming Up on September 9th!

Protect Your Groundwater Day (PYGWD) is coming up on September 9, 2014. That’s still plenty of time to prepare to help raise public awareness about the importance of groundwater and water well stewardship for the health of the public and the environment.  Visit the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) web page to find useful, educational information to share through your web sites, social media, newsletters, news releases, and events.   Following are some resources from NGWA to help you promote this special day.

The Promotional Partners page  lists all the Federal, state and local organizations that have said “yes” to being a 2014 PYGWD promotional partner so far. If you confirmed that you want to be a 2014 partner and are not listed-or if you wish to become a promotional partner, please contact Cliff Treyens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org or 614-898-7791.

Plan Now to Attend ASDWA’s October Annual Conference in Albuquerque!

Plan now to attend the 2014 ASDWA Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM.  This year’s conference will begin with the State-EPA Roundtable and ASDWA Committee meetings on Monday October 20 and finish with a special session on HACCP in building plumbing on Thursday afternoon, October 23.  In between, the conference will feature speakers on many policy and technical topics including source water protection, climate change, extreme weather events, and sustainability of water supplies; as well as displays from water industry exhibitors.  More details are available on the ASDWA Conferences webpage, where you can find a preliminary agenda, registration, and hotel information.  The preliminary agenda is also provided here for your reference.

Plan to join us in Albuquerque as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the 30th Anniversary of ASDWA!

Public Comment Period Extended for Waters of the US Proposed Rule

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) are extending the public comment period for the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule from July 21 until October 20, 2014, an additional 91 days. This extension is in response to numerous requests received by the agencies (EPA and COE). The agencies are continuing to meet with representatives of States and local governments, stakeholders, and elected officials during the comment period. The Waters of the U.S. proposed rule will clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources.

The agencies have also extended the public comment period on the interpretive rule by 30 days to July 7th . The interpretive rule ensures that 56 specific conservation practices that protect or improve water quality and are conducted in conformance with NRCS practice standards will not be subject to Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting requirements for discharges of dredged or fill material. Information about the proposed rule can be found at www.epa.gov/uswaters.

New USGS Report and Webinar on Dissolved Solids in Streams

A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report provides science-based information on where dissolved solids concentrations are elevated and the dominant sources contributing to these conditions. Using the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program SPAtially-Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model, long-term mean annual dissolved-solids loads from 2,560 water-quality monitoring stations were statistically related to several spatial datasets that are surrogates for dissolved-solids sources and land-to-water delivery processes. Sources in the model included variables representing geologic materials, road deicers, urban lands, cultivated lands, and pasture lands.

Maps of concentrations, yields, and loads of dissolved solids in streams are available on the online, interactive decision support tool. The online tool can also be used to evaluate dissolved-solids loads to any user selected watershed outlet or to predict how changes in selected sources of dissolved solids within a selected watershed may change loadings to the watershed outlet. Visit the related USGS web sites to view the Report, Maps, and Decision support system. For questions, please contact David Anning at dwanning@usgs.gov or (928) 556-7139.

REGISTER for the USGS Webinar on July 22nd from 1:00 – 2:30pm (eastern) entitled, “Human Actions Increase Salt Content in many of the Nation’s Streams.”