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.

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.