EPA Offers Numerous Climate-Related Tools and Opportunities

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The following offers a range of tools, videos, and workgroup initiatives of interest to states and water utilities in their collective efforts to become more climate aware and better prepared for extreme weather events.  All of the resources below can be accessed here:   www.epa.gov/climatereadyutilities

Video

EPA has posted a video online featuring the Waynesboro Water System of Tennessee, which illustrates the system’s efforts to become more climate ready and showcases the adaptive measures implemented to build resilience during extreme events.

Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) 2.0 Highlights

In February 2013, EPA and the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) conducted a CREAT 2.0 assessment of overall risks to the SNWA system and identified opportunities for adaptation. Focus areas included drought, population growth, and short-term and long-term adaptation packages, such as demand management and aquifer recharge.  A report documenting the process and lessons learned with SNWA is available now…

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New USGS Tools to Assess Nutrient Inputs to US Estuaries and Great Lakes

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program has announced the availability of new web pages with national maps and data tables, as well as a new SPARROW model reporting feature.  These new tools improve access to water-quality modeling information that can be used in the development of nutrient reduction strategies and inform nutrient policies across the nation.  

  • The new USGS web pages with maps and data tables describe nutrient loading to major estuaries throughout the conterminous US and include descriptions of major sources and contributing areas of nutrients to 115 estuaries along the Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest coast, as well as from 160 watersheds draining into the Great Lakes.
  • The online interactive SPARROW model (SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes) Decision-Support System (DSS) has a new reporting feature within the DSS that provides summary information on the amounts and sources of nutrients from upstream states or major hydrologic regions.  Water resource managers interested in a particular stream, reservoir, or estuary can use this feature to estimate how reductions in nutrient sources affect downstream nutrient loads at a stream outlet. For example, output from the new reporting feature shows the amount of nitrogen contributed from each of the 31 states that drain into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River Basin.

Visit the NAWQA program web site for more information on USGS nutrient monitoring and modeling activities.

Plan Now for National Groundwater Awareness Week in March

The 16th annual National Groundwater Awareness Week will take place from March 9-15 this year.  The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) invites you to celebrate the week by helping to educate the public about groundwater and its importance to public health, quality of life, and the environment.  State drinking water programs will want to share the materials and messages that NGWA has created with their utilities and the public about groundwater and water well stewardship (including private well maintenance).  Please take a look at the following resources that are available for your use.  Some can be used as is and others can be adapted or customized to your state or a locale.

For more information and to ask questions, please contact Cliff Treyens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org.  Also, please let him know if you plan to promote Ground Water Awareness Week, so that he can list you as a promotional partner on their web site.

Kentucky Begins New Source Water Protection Assistance Program Modeled After Washington State

The Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) has created a new source water protection assistance program that is modeled after the Washington State grant program.  A big “thank you” to Kitty Weisman of Washington State, who worked with Jessica Moore of Kentucky to help her and her colleagues create the new program. 

Through this program, Kentucky is making up to $60,000 of funding assistance available to public water systems (PWSs), towns, cities, counties, and schools for new and existing projects.  Projects may include:  closing abandoned wells; installing best management practices; or implementing management strategies previously identified in a wellhead or source water protection plan.  The goal of the Kentucky program is to provide funding for small projects that can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time.  The deadline for this year’s applications is March 1st and the funding recipients will have roughly one year following contract submittal to complete projects.   Applicants are not required to provide matching funds or in-kind services to receive funding.  Although, supplemental funding contributions, including in-kind resources, are being taken into consideration during the application evaluation process and the DOW is encouraging partnerships to implement source water protection.

For more information on Kentucky’s program, visit the DOW website at:  http://water.ky.gov/groundwater/Pages/SWPAssistanceProgram.aspx  or contact Jessica Moore of Kentucky at 502-564-3410 or Jessica.Moore2@ky.gov.