Tomorrow! – WRF Webcast on How to Talk about Contaminants, Risk, and the Unknown

WRF logo


Date:  Thursday, June 22, 2017

Time:  11:00am – 12:30pm (eastern)

REGISTER HERE

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) will host a free webinar tomorrow entitled, “Throwing Precaution Out the Window:  How to Talk about Contaminants, Risk, and the Unknown.”  The webcast will feature a presentation by Dr. Gabriella Rundblad of King’s College London to share the findings of the WRF project (#4551), Terminology for Improved Communications Regarding Contaminants of Emerging Concern.  This project explored how language and cognition impact public trust, where the public is more likely to trust a message about the minute presence of known dangers than the lack of evidence for health effects caused by unknown dangers.

WRF New Cyanotoxin Webcast Series to Start this Month

WRF HABs

The Water Research Foundation will kick off a new series of three webcasts this month to share the latest information and resources about cyanotoxins in drinking water.  All of these webcasts are being offered free of charge and are open to the public.  Following are the webinar topics, descriptions, and registration information.

 ——————————————

Development of a Risk Communication Tool Kit for Cyanotoxins

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This Webcast is designed to provide listeners with the necessary knowledge to develop and deliver effective cyanotoxin risk communications (WRF project #4697). Listeners will learn about specific attributes of the cyanotoxin risk management framework that can create potential communication barriers, for example the complexity of the EPA health guidance and the uncertainty inherent in monitoring and testing timing and protocol. Listeners will also be introduced to the linguistic research carried out during the project, which was used to develop recommended health advisory/alert language.

 ——————————————

Evaluation and Optimization of Cyanotoxin Analytical Methods

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This webcast will explore the results of Performance Evaluation of Methods for the Analysis of Cyanotoxins (project #4647). The goal of this project is to compare the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA (Method 546) ADDA-ELISA methods and EPA Method 544, “Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)” and investigate the inconsistencies between the methodologies as well as the precision and accuracies within each method. The findings for this project will be published in 2018; however, valuable preliminary findings will be shared during this webcast.

 ——————————————

Treatment Approaches for Managing Dissolved and Intracellular Cyanotoxins

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register Online

This webcast will highlight the effectiveness of conventional and advanced treatment processes for managing intracellular and extracellular cyanotoxins while minimizing unintended consequences. In addition, a summary of the Hazen-Adams CyanoTOX model v.2.0 will be presented. Case studies will be used to illustrate how the model worked at various utilities and will be used to provide a basis for evaluating treatment options.

US Water Alliance Publishes Equitable Water Management Paper

US Water Alliance

The US Water Alliance has released a comprehensive briefing paper on the connections between water management and vulnerable communities living in America entitled, “An Equitable Water Future.”  The report demonstrates how water challenges affect affordability, environmental and social justice, economic development, health, safety, and more. These challenges are often felt more acutely by disadvantaged communities, whether by geographic, economic, or racial status. The paper presents a framework that can move the nation forward, focused on three pillars of equitable water management:

  1. Ensure all people have access to clean, safe, affordable water service;
  2. Maximize the community and economic benefits of water infrastructure investment; and,
  3. Foster community resilience in the face of a changing climate.

The entire paper is available online here.  For questions, please contact Abigail Gardner of US Water Alliance at agardner@uswateralliance.org or 412-421-0809.

 

 

 

Next Week is Drinking Water Week!

Drinking Water Week

Next week, on May 7-13, Drinking Water Week will once again provide a great opportunity for state drinking water programs, water utilities, and others to promote the value of drinking water for public health protection and economic benefits. This year’s theme is “Your Water:  to know it is to love it.” Of course, knowing the source of your drinking water is the first step in ensuring its safety. So this provides all of us a unique opportunity to join together in recognizing the vital role we all play in protecting drinking water too.  The Source Water Collaborative will be promoting its efforts on social media throughout the week and we hope you do too! Do you have events planned in your state for this special week?  Has your governor made a proclamation?  Please help ASDWA by sharing information with us about your Drinking Water Week activities by contacting Deirdre Mason of ASDWA at dmason@asdwa.org.  We hope you enjoy celebrating!

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

CWA-SDWA Workshop Photo

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.

 

Next Week is National Groundwater Awareness Week

awweek-2017-gif-2

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.

The Nature Conservancy Publishes Source Water Protection Benefits Report

tnc-report-cover

The Nature Conservancy has published a report entitled, Beyond The Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, Forest Trends, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Latin American Water Funds Partnership.  The report discusses the benefits of healthy source waters as vital natural infrastructure for water quality and quantity, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security, and human health and well-being.  The report also analyzes investment costs and co-benefits for protection and restoration activities and best management practices at local and global scales, using examples from cities in the U.S. and across the globe.

AWWA TEC Issues RFPs for Drinking Water Related Project Contracts

AWWA’s Technical and Educational Council (TEC) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a variety of drinking water system related projects.  The due date for contract proposals is February 17, 2017. Please forward this information on to your colleagues and networks as appropriate.  Following is the list of RFPs and the associated contract funding amounts:

  • Communicating Source Water Protection Efforts in Consumer Confidence Reports ($8,000)
  • Guidance for Water Utilities on Managing the Implementation of Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in Community Water Systems ($13,000)
  • Operator Licensing Requirements Across the United States: Levels and Effects ($19,000)
  • The level of progress of Utilities in implementing Safety Management Programs ($8,500)
  • Water Utility Disinfection Survey ($12,000)

The link to the RFPs, along with the terms, conditions, requirements, and evaluation process for potential contractors can be found here.  Proposals and questions should be submitted to Alex Gerling of AWWA at agerling@awwa.org.

EPA Announces Video Challenge for National Ground Water Awareness Week

EPA has announced a video challenge in support of the National Ground Water Association’s Ground Water Awareness Week. From February 1-24, EPA is inviting budding filmmakers, citizen scientists, or anyone interested to create and submit a compelling and innovative video that informs individuals and communities about the importance of groundwater, and inspires them to do more to protect and conserve it. The winning videos will be posted on EPA’s website and recognized throughout its online outlets during National Groundwater Awareness Week, taking place from March 5-11, 2017. Details about the video challenge and instructions for entering can be found on EPA’s website.

Nominate Your Water Systems for the AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award by January 15th

Nominations for the 2016 AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award are due on January 15, 2017.  Please consider nominating your water systems for this award, where winners will be announced at the 2017 AWWA Annual Conference & Exposition.  This award recognizes up to three water systems every year for their outstanding source water protection programs, with consideration for their size and resources.  This year’s two award winners were the Central Utah Provo Watershed Council and the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario.

This year, the AWWA Source Water Protection Committee that administers the award program is strongly encouraging nomination submissions for the smallest water systems serving populations of 10,000 or fewer, using either ground water or surface water supply sources.  Because many of these systems may not have the gumption, resources, or ability to complete the application process themselves, the Committee is hopeful that state drinking water programs, AWWA Sections, and State Rural Water Associations will be willing to help.

While the nominations for this year are not due until January 15, 2017, it is helpful to get an early start on the application process.  Nominations are judged on how well a water system meets the six components of AWWA’s (G300) Source Water Protection Standard:  1) program vision; 2) source water characterization; 3) source water protection goals; 4) development of an Action Plan; 5) implementation of the Action Plan; and 6) periodic evaluation and revision of the entire program. In addition to how well a source water protection program satisfies each of the six program components for the AWWA Standard, nominees will also be evaluated on the following three criteria:

  1. Effectiveness of the program,
  2. Innovative approaches, and
  3. Difficulties overcome.

More information about the award, including previous award recipients, eligibility and submission criteria, and the entry form, may be accessed via the AWWA Source Water Protection Resource Community page.  You will need to sign in using your AWWA member information, or sign up for a free username and password if you are not a member.  You may also view the criteria and download the entry form at www.awwa.org/eswpa.