Urban Waters Federal Partnership Wins Sammie Award

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Last Week, Surabhi Shah of EPA, and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership team won a 2017 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. The medals, known as the “Sammies,” are awarded annually by the Partnership for Public Service. They are designed to highlight excellence in the federal workforce and inspire other talented and dedicated individuals to go into public service. This year, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership got the most votes from the public in the People’s Choice category for their work with local, state and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits and philanthropies to with local, state and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits and philanthropies to clean up urban waterways and surrounding lands that help spur redevelopment of abandoned properties, promote new businesses, and provide parks and access for boating, swimming, fishing and community gatherings.

The partnership is led by EPA, along with the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, and 10 other federal agencies. The program has been successful in leveraging resources for more than 250 locations throughout the US to improve more than 22,000 acres of land and engage approximately 100,000 community members.

For more information about the program, visit the Urban Waters Federal Partnership website. For more information about the award, go HERE.

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NALMS Publishes Source Water Protection Position Statement and White Paper

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The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) has posted its “Position on Source Water Protection” and associated white paper on its website. NALMS is a member of the Source Water Collaborative (along with 26 other organizations including ASDWA) and its mission is to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow. The new position statement and white paper provide information about the importance of source water protection; the six components of a successful source water protection program (as outlined in the ANSI/AWWA Standard G300); and more. To read the position statement and white paper, go to the NALMS website.

September Promotional Events:  Protect Your Groundwater Day and SepticSmart Week

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Protect Your Groundwater Day is September 5th:  The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is encouraging the protection of public health and the health of the environment by celebrating “Protect Your Groundwater Day.” This year’s celebration will take place on September 5th. State drinking water programs should consider sharing information about “Protect Your Groundwater Day” with their water utilities and residents, as a means to create greater awareness about protecting this valuable resource.  For more information, visit the NGWA website and WellOwner.orgwebsite. To ask questions, please contact Cliff Tryens of NGWA at ctreyens@ngwa.org.

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SepticSmart Week is September 18-22:  Each year, EPA holds SepticSmart Week with outreach activities to encourage homeowners and communities to care for and maintain their septic systems. This year, SepticSmart Week will be held from September 18-22. State drinking water programs and communities will want to use this opportunity to inform homeowners on proper septic system care and maintenance, promote homeowner education and awareness, and educate local decision makers about infrastructure options available to improve and sustain communities. Visit EPA’s website to download SepticSmart materials and a proclamation template, read about suggested events and activities, view highlights and case studies of community efforts across the nation, and participate in the conversation on social media #SepticSmartWeek.

Participate in Imagine a Day Without Water on October 12th

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“Imagine a Day Without Water” will take place on October 12th this year. This event is organized by the Value of Water Campaign and urges organizations across the country to engage in and educate their communities about the state of our nation’s infrastructure and the need for reinvestment. One of the most important ways you can participate in Imagine a Day Without Water is by posting on social media. Whether you have an event to promote or just want to show how much you #ValueWater, please share information about this day with your networks. For more information, to use the graphics, and see how you can host a local event and sign up as a partner, visit the website here.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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.