New USGS Groundwater and Drought Web Pages

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is pleased to announce the release of a new set of web pages highlighting, “Groundwater and Drought.”  The objective is to call attention to the role of groundwater in drought.  As described on the web pages, groundwater is important during all hydrologic droughts:

 

  • Groundwater may be an alternative or supplemental source of water during periods of drought.
  • Reduced groundwater levels due to drought or increased pumping during drought can result in decreased water levels and flows in lakes, streams, and other water bodies.
  • Changes in groundwater/surface-water exchange can result in changes in water quality.
  • Decreased groundwater flow to surface waters can affect aquatic ecosystems that rely on a continuous supply of groundwater to sustain aquatic habitats and stream flow.
  • Reduced heads in aquifers can result in land subsidence.

 

We encourage others to link this page to your own drought pages.  If you have any questions, please contact Cian Dawson at cbdawson@usgs.gov.

National Stormwater Calculator Helps Manage Stormwater Runoff

As part the of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA has released the National Stormwater Calculator, as an addition to the administration’s virtual climate resilience toolkit.  The new calculator will help property owners, developers, landscapers, and urban planners make informed land-use decisions to protect local waterways from pollution caused by stormwater runoff.

The calculator, which is phase I of the Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package announced in the President’s Climate Action Plan in June, is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific site, based on local soil conditions, slope, land cover, and historical rainfall records. Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including inexpensive changes like rain barrels and rain gardens, can prevent pollution. This information helps users determine how adding green infrastructure can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce stormwater runoff.  An update to the Stormwater Calculator, which will include the ability to link to several future climate scenarios, will be released by the end of 2013.

More information about the National Stormwater Calculator: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/wswrd/wq/models/swc/

More information about the virtual climate resilience toolkit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf

More information on EPA’s Green Infrastructure research: http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm

Plan Now for Protect Your Groundwater Day on September 10th!

Protect Your Groundwater Day (PYGWD) is about seven weeks away on September 10, 2013. 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.  To help you with this, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has prepared some useful public awareness tools to help you promote Protect Your Groundwater Day in your state as follows:

 

  1. Print logo and Web logo for use on your web site and promotional materials.
  2. Sample News release.
  3. Poster and Flier to share with the public at your offices, during events, or through the mail.
  4. Video to link through emails and web sites.

 

Common ways in which promotional partners spread the word about PYGWD is through their Web sites, social media, newsletters, news releases, and events. You may adapt your messages to meet your specific groundwater priorities or simply use the tools and messages NGWA provides.

 

This page of our Protect Your Groundwater Day Web content lists all the federal, state and local organizations that have said “yes” to being a 2013 PYGWD promotional partner so far. If you confirmed that you want to be a 2013 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.

 

For more information about PYGWD, visit the web site HERE.  NGWA’s www.wellowner.org web site also includes helpful resources and practical information for private well owners about maintaining and testing wells, preventing contamination, and conserving water.

 

President’s Climate Action Plan Released

On June 25th, President Obama announced the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  The Plan consists of a wide variety of executive actions focused around three pillars: cut carbon pollution in the United States; prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change; and, lead international efforts to combat global climate change and prepare for its impacts.  The Plan includes sections on establishing a state, local, and tribal leaders’ task force, preparing for future floods, managing drought, boosting the resilience of infrastructure, supporting communities, and preparing a toolkit for climate resilience, in addition to many other topics.  The Plan also states that Federal agencies will be directed to ensure that climate risk-management considerations are fully integrated into Federal infrastructure and natural resource management planning.  To view the President’s Climate Action Plan, visit:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf.