Call for Presentations – EPA’s Community Involvement Training Conference

EPA has announced a February 22 due date for presentation and training proposal submissions for the 2013 Community Involvement Training Conference being held July 30 – August 1, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

This three-day conference will feature plenary sessions with guest speakers, topical discussions, multiple 90-minute information sessions, and dozens of engaging and interactive training sessions.   Additionally, there will be field trips demonstrating effective community involvement and cooperative conservation efforts in the Boston area, a poster session, exhibits, a technology demonstration area showcasing new tools, technology, and software, and a variety of networking opportunities.

The goal of the conference is to both inform and train EPA staff, stakeholders, and partners in best practices to enhance community involvement.  EPA is asking for proposals that address this conference theme, and focus on topics, ideas, challenges, and opportunities within one or more of the following five categories (we have also included a few of the sub-categories here that state drinking water programs might want to submit proposals for):

  1. Communication and Collaboration through Technology and Social Media
  2. Cultural Diversity, Competency, and Environmental Justice
  3. Non-traditional Community Involvement Strategies
    • Utilizing creative approaches for public meetings and outreach
    • Thinking “outside the box” about how to communicate scientific/technical concepts in an understandable way (e.g., communicating risk about contaminated groundwater, treatment technologies and processes)
  4. Facilitating Effective Collaboration
    • Collaborating among different organizations and programs (federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private) to enhance community involvement, such as with technical assistance
    • Fostering strong internal collaboration and communication skills to enhance community involvement
  5. Additional Related Topics

Please note that EPA does have some limited funds available to pay for speaker travel.  For the full list of presentation topics, criteria, and other information for potential speakers, go to:  http://www.epa.gov/ciconference/cfp_instructions.htm. For more information about the conference, visit: http://www.epa.gov/ciconference/index.htm.

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Plan Now for National Groundwater Awareness and Fix-A-Leak Weeks in March

National Groundwater Awareness Week is taking place March 10-16, and EPA’s WaterSense Fix-A-Leak is the following week, March 18-24, 2013.

National Groundwater Awareness is March 10-16

Please make preparations now for promoting this once a year event to help raise public awareness about groundwater.  The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) invites you to join them in this effort to promote Groundwater Awareness Week by spreading the word through your website, timely newsletter publications, social media, or other education and outreach activities.  NGWA offers customizable messaging and content for promoting Ground Water Awareness Week in ways that best fit your priorities (such as emphasizing the importance of regular water testing by private well owners).

Please borrow the useful information and materials provided on NGWA’s web site at Ground Water Awareness Week and Wellowner.org.  Scroll down the left side of the web page content buttons to “Awareness,” and then click on the tabs for sample news releases; useful information blurbs and facts; links to reference documents for more information; graphics, posters, and media tools for outreach; education materials for schools; and more.

State drinking water programs and health departments can use these tools to reach private well owners and the general public, and also pass this information along to their water utilities so that this important message can be shared directly with their customers.

Fix-A-Leak Weeks is March 18-24

It’s time to remind homeowners to dig out their wrenches and pipe tape because Fix-A-Leak Week 2013 is just around the corner!  For the fifth consecutive year, EPA’s WaterSense program and its partners (including ASDWA and many states) will raise awareness about the importance of eliminating household leaks during Fix-A-Leak Week March 18-24, 2013.  To help make this weeklong event truly national in scale, ASDWA encourages states to share information and host community events that highlight the water-saving benefits of fixing household leaks.

Did you know that an American home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks?  And nationwide, more than one trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year?  That’s why WaterSense reminds Americans to check their plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems each year during Fix-A-Leak Week.

Visit the Fix-A-Leak Week web site for step-by-step guides, inspirational ideas and case studies such as New Mexico’s search for bad flappers, as well as leak detection efforts in Texas, West Virginia, and across the nation.  You will also find updated tools and resources for distribution by states and water utilities.

Draft Third National Climate Assessment Report Now Available for Comment

The National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee (NCADAC), the Federal advisory committee for the National Climate Assessment, has published their draft of the Third National Climate Assessment Report for public comment. The draft report is available for download – both as a single document and by chapter at:  http://ncadac.globalchange.gov.

The public comment period for the report will run from January 14 – April 12, 2013. All comments must be submitted via the online comment tool that will at:  http://ncadac.globalchange.gov. The draft will be undergoing review by the National Research Council at the same time.

The draft report is a product of the NCADAC and is not a product of the Federal government. The authors of the report will use the comments received during the public comment period to revise the report before submitting it to the government for consideration.

EPA Climate Change Webinar on New Indicators Report

EPA Announces January 28 Webinar on New Climate Change Indicators Report

On January 28, 2013, from 2:00pm – 3:30pm (eastern) EPA’s State & Local Climate and Energy program is hosting a webinar on the newly released Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2012 report.   The report brings together data from multiple public datasets to show observed changes over time in 26 indicators of climate change – including measures of high and low temperatures, rainfall, snowfall, pollen season and sea level rise. These indicators present compelling evidence that our climate is changing now and is already affecting society and ecosystems.

During the webinar, EPA staff will discuss how the report was developed, highlighting key points of the report and how information was gathered and synthesized. A brief demonstration of the climate indicators website and a question-and-answer session will follow.

To register for the webinar, go to: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/332181322

To view the report, please visit:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/indicators/

 

 

U.S. Water Alliance Launches Webinar Series on Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. Water Alliance has launched a four-part webinar series entitled, “Hydraulic Fracturing: Beyond Name Calling to Real Environmental Protection,” that will be conducted over the next four months.  This series brings together experts in water, energy, and conservation to explore the most important issues and disclose the most successful steps to prevent problems through each stage of the shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing process, from locating an operation to site closure and restoration. The webinars won’t be “technical” but will involve presenters with technical expertise from industry, and regulatory, policy, and environmental NGO sectors.

The first webinar entitled, “Knowing Your Watershed and Assessing Potential Environmental, Economic, and Social Impacts,” was held on January 15.  Presenters provided an overview of water quantity and water quality issues including:  considerations for the value and cost of natural gas production and water supplies; the need for community engagement; and information about a new study that assesses water rights appropriations and water availability in the western states.

The next three webinars will be held as follows:

 

  • February 19: Transparency that Benefits All-Disclosing Fracturing Fluids and Operations
  • March 18: Practical Considerations for Management, Re-use, and Disposal of “Waste” Waters
  • April 16: Closure and Restoration: Final Considerations

 

For more information and to register, visit the U.S. Water Alliance web site HERE.

 

Video and Presentations Now Available from ASDWA-GWPC Webinar on Working with USDA Programs to Protect Drinking Water Sources

On January 9, ASDWA and GWPC hosted a webinar on “How State Source Water Programs Can Work with Their USDA Partners.”  Webinar presentations included information about the Source Water Collaborative’s online toolkit, as well as USDA partnerships in Maine, New England, and Iowa that highlight forest and agricultural conservation and practices being implemented to protect drinking water sources.

To download the presentation slides, visit ASDWA’s web site at:  www.asdwa.org/sourcewaterprotection.

 

Climate Ready Water Utilities New Webinar Series Begins January 23rd

EPA has announced a new announced a new webinar series of their Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative will begin on January 23rd and run through April 10th.  The webinar series begins with an introduction to the CRWU initiative and climate change adaptation planning. Subsequent topics focus on specific tools to help water sector utilities understand and adapt to climate change impacts.  During the webinars, participants will learn more about the tools and resources available for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities in fulfilling their public health and environmental missions.

 

For more information, visit the web site at: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/climate/index.cfm. For questions, please contact CRWUhelp@epa.gov.

 

January 16th Webinar on National Estuaries Communication, Education and Outreach Efforts

EPA’s Coastal Management Branch will host a webinar about three National Estuary programs’ communication, education, and outreach activities on January 16, 2013 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (eastern).   Participants will hear presentations about how representatives and partners of the Puget Sound Partnership, Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership, and Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership Programs are engaging the public in their efforts.

For more information, view the Attachment — Webinar on National Estuaries.

To register, go to:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/936129266.