April 20th EPA Water Quality Modeling Webinar

 

EPA’s Water Quality Modeling Workgroup will host a webinar, entitled “Introduction to SWAT” on Thursday, April 20th at 1:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern) as part of its webinar series. This webinar will introduce the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) water quality model developed by USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. SWAT is a small watershed to river basin-scale model to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices, and climate change. SWAT is widely used in assessing soil erosion prevention and control, non-point source pollution control and regional management in watersheds. The webinar will also present several examples where SWAT has been applied in real world settings.  Register HERE.  Previous webinars are also available at: http://www.epa.gov/tmdl/tmdl-modeling.

EPA Publishes New Route to Resilience Tool

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EPA has published its new Route to Resilience (RtoR) tool that will help small and medium sized drinking water and wastewater utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all-hazards such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and contamination incidents.  The interactive desktop application guides utilities through 5 stops along the Route to Resilience — Assess, Plan, Train, Respond, and Recover. RtoR also provides utilities with a custom report that highlights products and tools that will help utilities on their path to resilience.  To share with your utilities and download the tool, visit EPA’s website.

Submit Your Abstracts Now for ASDWA’s 2017 Annual Conference

 

Please submit your abstract for ASDWA’s 2017 Annual Conference.  This year’s conference will be held October 17-20, 2017 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, VA. Approximately 250 participants from state and territorial drinking water programs, EPA and other Federal agencies, drinking water associations, consulting firms, and industry groups are expected to attend.  Presentation themes may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Source water protection and sustainability of water supplies
  • Clean Water Act/SDWA connections, nutrient pollution, and Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)
  • Extreme weather, water and energy efficiency, and conservation
  • Drinking water emergency preparedness and resiliency strategies and tools
  • Small systems: TMF, sustainability strategies, technologies, and compliance
  • Emerging drinking water treatment technologies and optimization of current technology
  • Workforce, operator certification, and/or technical assistance initiatives
  • SDWA implementation approaches and strategies including collaborations and partnerships
  • State revolving loan fund tools and techniques/green infrastructure strategies
  • Data management and electronic reporting
  • Distribution system issues
  • Emerging contaminants in drinking water
  • Drinking water research
  • Risk assessment, risk communication and consumer outreach

When reviewing proposals, ASDWA will give priority to those received from state drinking water program administrators and their staff.  If you would like to make a presentation, please submit a one-page abstract with the proposed presentation title, and the name, title, affiliation, and contact information for the speaker to Deirdre Mason of ASDWA at dmason@asdwa.org by June 1, 2017.

For More Information, please view the ASDWA 2017 Annual Conference Call for Papers on the ASDWA website.

State CWA-SDWA Workshop Held this Week Identifies Next Steps for Continued Coordination

On March 21, ASDWA, the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) held a half-day Clean Water Act – Safe Drinking Water Act (CWA-SDWA) Workshop in Washington, DC.  Approximately 50 participants attended from state clean water, drinking water, and ground water programs from across the country, as well as all the EPA Water Offices, two EPA Regions, and USGS.  Thanks especially to the New Hampshire, Utah, New York, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania Drinking Water Programs for participating on behalf of ASDWA.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss CWA-SDWA coordination opportunities and challenges and identify next steps to better protect sources of drinking water (both groundwater and surface water) and improve water quality.  The first part of the workshop included:

  • Welcoming remarks from Jennifer McLain of EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water and Sheila Frace of EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management;
  • A presentation from Wendy Drake and Amie Howell of EPA Regions 5 and Region 3 who shared information about their CWA-SDWA Integration Checklist for working within their offices and with their states;
  • A presentation from Deirdre Mason of ASDWA who provided information about the National Source Water Collaboratives tools and resources that can be used to help support CWA-SDWA efforts and local level stakeholder engagement; and
  • Presentations from Ryan Chapman of Nebraska, Jennifer Wigal of Oregon, John Barndt of Delaware, and Peter Goodmann of Kentucky about their efforts to coordinate across clean water, drinking water, and ground water programs to protect drinking water sources.

The rest and majority of the workshop was spent in breakout groups discussing where states are making progress at CWA-SDWA and related program coordination and collaboration, identifying challenges and barriers that impede progress on these activities, and brainstorming on next steps and action items to continue to work on these types of efforts after the meeting.  Some key discussion points and needs identified during the breakouts included:

  • Using an integrated water resources management approach to protect source water quantity and quality, address infrastructure needs, and identify opportunities for water reuse;
  • Getting buy-in from senior management to work across programs;
  • Working with other programs and partners to address and communicate risk on emerging contaminants;
  • Making it easier to share data and conduct real time water monitoring for both surface and ground waters;
  • Working with agricultural programs and developing numeric nutrient criteria to address nonpoint source pollution; and
  • Using the Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange as a platform to share information.

At the end of the workshop, participants identified a number of next steps and action items including:

  • Conducting more workshops like this at both the national and regional levels on specific CWA program areas;
  • Hosting discussions on a true definition of safe drinking water and developing talking points on the cost vs. risk of addressing drinking water contaminants;
  • Continuing to share state program coordination examples and encouraging state to state peer mentoring;
  • Expanding the use of the Region 5/3 integration checklist in other regions and states;
  • Developing a one-stop shop clearinghouse for source water protection funding sources; and
  • Using EPA’s Recovery Potential Screening Tool and the soon to be released Healthy Watershed Assessment for furthering source water protection efforts.

ASDWA, ACWA , GWPC, and EPA plan to continue working together on these action items to help states and stakeholders move forward with their coordination efforts, so stay tuned for more information in the near future.  If you have any questions, please contact Deirdre Mason of ASDWA at dmason@asdwa.org or 703-812-4775.

 

EPA Webinar on Source Water Protection Data, Tools, and Economic Benefits

On March 28, EPA’s Office of Research and Development and EPA’s Office of Water will host a webinar about source water protection data, tools, and economic benefits as part of the monthly Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar Series.  During the webinar, presenters will:

  • Describe how several web-based GIS applications, data resources, and analytical tools can be used to update source water assessments and protection plans, prepare utilities for emergency situations, and support partnership efforts; and
  • Review economic studies that estimate the benefits of improving source water quality for treatment plants, as well as a general approach that compares the benefits to source water protection costs.

For more information and to register, go HERE.

EPA to Host “Working With Commercial Landscapes to Manage Irrigation” Webinar

On Thursday, March 16 at 2:00pm (eastern), EPA’s WaterSense program and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) will host a webinar on Working With Commercial Landscapes to Manage Irrigation. Attendees will learn how the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) tracks landscape water use through live dashboard monitoring.  WaterSense will also highlight best practices for irrigation in the commercial and institutional sector, and AWE will discuss its Outdoor Water Savings Research Initiative. This webinar is free and open to the public.   Register Here.

EPA Webinar on National Aquatic Resource Surveys

On Thursday, March 23, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern).  EPA will be hosting a webcast on the latest news about the conditions in the nation’s lakes and flowing waters, based on the findings of the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS). This webcast will provide a brief overview of the NARS program and a discussion of key findings from two of its recent reports, the National Lakes Assessment (NLA) and the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA). The webinar will also highlight additional NARS research that finds widespread increases in phosphorus levels in remote waters of the U.S.  Webcast participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance.  For more information and to register, visit the EPA website.

Next Week is National Groundwater Awareness Week

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National Groundwater Awareness Week is taking place next week, from March 5-11.  Please consider helping the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) promote this special week with your water utilities and the public by sharing some information and resources about the importance of ground water on your websites, and through social media and other communication channels.  Following are some resources that NGWA has created about groundwater and water well stewardship (including information for private well maintenance). Some can be used as is; others can be adapted, modified, or customized as necessary.

For more information and to become a “Groundwater Advocate,” please contact Cliff Treyens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org.

USGS Webinar on PFASs in New Hampshire’s Drinking Water

The USGS National Water Quality Monitoring Council will hold a webinar on Tuesday, March 28 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern).  During the webinar, Brandon Kernen from the New Hampshire Drinking Water Program will present “The Assessment and Regulation of PFASs in New Hampshire’s Drinking Water.”  He will discuss the detection of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at multiple sites that have contaminated hundreds of private drinking water wells and several public water supply sources serving tens of thousands of people.  He will also share recommendations to address the associated regulatory, environmental, technical, and social challenges.  Click HERE for more information and to register.

EPA Webinar on New Model My Watershed Tool  

EPA’s Watershed Academy will host a webinar on its new online “Model My Watershed” tool on Thursday, March 9 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern). The tool allows users to model and run scenarios for stormwater runoff and water quality impacts.  During the webinar, presenters will provide an overview and a demonstration of the tool, and highlight how it is being used by several states for their total maximum daily load, nonpoint source, and municipal stormwater programs.  Webinar participants are eligible to receive a certificate for their attendance.  Register HERE.