GWPC Annual Forum and Source Water Protection Workshop Held Last Week

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The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) held its Annual Forum last week in Boston, Massachusetts, that included a source water protection workshop and multiple sessions on ground water connections to drinking water, private wells, stormwater, brownfields, Underground Injection Control and state oil and gas programs, and more. Forum attendees included representatives from state and EPA ground water and source water programs, state oil and gas programs, the Department of Energy, energy companies, associations (including ASDWA), and consulting firms.

The Source Water Protection Workshop was held the day before the Forum to highlight effective collaborations and discuss opportunities at the national, state, and local levels to protect drinking water. Opening remarks were provided by Peter Grevatt, Director of EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, and Jane Downing of EPA Region 1 who spoke about the importance of source water protection as well as continuing challenges with emerging contaminants (e.g., PFAS and 1-4 Dioxane), extreme weather, chemical spills, and emergency response. Presentations during the workshop included information about the Source Water Collaborative tools; Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act coordination; working with USDA NRCS State Conservationists; the Iowa Source Water Agricultural Collaborative; working with state geologists; and a new source water protection scorecard tool being used for the Hudson River in New York. Key takeaways from the workshop included the need to:

  • Use visible “science” and accurate data as a catalyst to motivate action and engage partners, as shown by the attention drawn to drilling trucks arriving on farms for groundwater investigations in Iowa.
  • Use state geologists as a resource, as highlighted by the valued added in sharing and understanding ground water connections by use of geologic maps during the recent Vermont State Workshops.
  • Get more information and tips on navigating opportunities to work with NRCS and agricultural partners on the ground, as discussed in relation to current nation-wide funding initiatives and projects that are underway in Connecticut.

After the workshop, the GWPC Annual Forum kicked off with opening session that included remarks by GWPC’s President Marty Link of Nebraska and by the Ground Water Research and Education Foundation President Stan Belieu, also of Nebraska. Bethany Card, the Deputy Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection also shared information about her state’s efforts to address lead in schools, climate change, drought and water withdrawals, and clean water act coordination. In addition, Nancy Johnson of the Department of Energy highlighted their activities to address energy, water, and seismicity; and Peter Grevatt of EPA provided perspective on the Agency’s efforts to work with states on source water protection and UIC activities. Other highlights from the Forum’s concurrent sessions included:

  • Information about GWPC’s efforts to develop a produced water report on using flowback water from oil and gas wells for beneficial uses.
  • Presentations about efforts to assess and address PFAS in New Hampshire, and by the National Ground Water Association to develop a report on the State of Knowledge and Practice that will be published this fall.
  • Presentations from the University of New Hampshire and EPA Region 1 on potential impacts to ground water from stormwater infiltration, and from SCS Engineers on connecting human health with brownfields remediation and revitalization.

Other interesting presentations included information about Connecticut’s first state water plan, land use and source water protection planning in Vermont, and New Hampshire’s efforts to inspect above ground storage tanks and conduct emergency response exercises. For more information, visit the GWPC website.

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WRF Webcast on Preparedness and Response for Water System Resilience

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Date:  Thursday, August 17, 2017

Time:  3:00pm – 4:00pm (eastern)

Register HERE

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) will host a free webinar entitled, “Preparedness and Response Practices to Support Water System Resilience: Fundamentals, Good Practices, and Innovations.”  This webcast will discuss the findings of Innovative Preparedness and Response Practices to Support Water System Resilience (#4601). Participants will learn about practices in other sectors that could be used in the water sector, a variety of fundamentals and good practices in use at utilities, as well as some innovative practices to consider.

New SWC Learning Exchange Resources on Source Water Protection and Emergency Planning

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As part of the Source Water Collaborative’s (SWC) ongoing Learning Exchange, the website now provides a series of new resources to help link source water protection to emergency planning. This was a key recommended action identified in the SWC’s Call to Action, and is part of an effort, along with the June 6th webinar, to share a set of comprehensive resources on this topic.

The new SWC Learning Exchange Resources include:

  • June 6th Webinar Recording: The recorded webinar from June 6th that shares lessons learned from the November 2016 spill on the Potomac River and how to improve planning for emergency preparedness and response, featuring speakers from Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), Fairfax Water and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
  • Early Warning Systems: A featured story on Pennsylvania’s early warning systems.
  • Resource Links: Links to resources such as a methodology from the Water Research Foundation for locating and managing dynamic potential contaminant data, U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Health-Based Screening Levels, and much more.

To view these and other resources, visit the SWC Learning Exchange webpage at:  http://sourcewatercollaborative.org/connect-with-others/learningexchange/.