NASCA Webinar on Conservation Program Success Stories

NASCA

On May 16th, from 10:00am to 12:00pm (eastern), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA) will host a webinar entitled, “Success Stories of Voluntary, Incentive-Based Conservation Programs.”  The webinar will showcase success stories of work led by conservation districts, state conservation agencies, and their partners to address natural resource issues. REGISTER HERE

Today at 2pm! USDA NRCS Webinar on NWQI Watershed Planning

USDA NWQI

NRCS will host a webinar today, April 25th, at 2:00pm (eastern) with presentations on “Watershed Planning from a National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) Perspective”. Participants will learn about the watershed assessment process and the importance of partnerships for NWQI watershed efforts.

How to join the webinar? You may join the webinar by clicking the ‘Join’ button HERE within 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

AWWA is Accepting Abstracts for 2018 Sustainable Water Management Conference

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AWWA wishes to invite authors and experts in the field to submit abstracts on a variety of sustainability topics for its Sustainable Water Management Conference being held March 25-28, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  Abstract topics may include:

  • Water Resources Planning & Management
  • Water & Energy Efficiency
  • Sustainable Utilities & Infrastructure Resiliency
  • Water Conservation Programs
  • Climate Change Mitigation & Adaption

The abstract submission deadline is Friday, July 14, 2017.  For a detailed list of abstract topics and more information, visit the website HERE.

 

April 20th EPA Water Quality Modeling Webinar

 

EPA’s Water Quality Modeling Workgroup will host a webinar, entitled “Introduction to SWAT” on Thursday, April 20th at 1:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern) as part of its webinar series. This webinar will introduce the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) water quality model developed by USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. SWAT is a small watershed to river basin-scale model to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices, and climate change. SWAT is widely used in assessing soil erosion prevention and control, non-point source pollution control and regional management in watersheds. The webinar will also present several examples where SWAT has been applied in real world settings.  Register HERE.  Previous webinars are also available at: http://www.epa.gov/tmdl/tmdl-modeling.

The Nature Conservancy Publishes Source Water Protection Benefits Report

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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.

NRCS Announces FY ’17 Funding for Regional Conservation Partnership Program Projects

By Kira Jacobs, US EPA Region 1

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced its funding for the FY 2017 Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects.  This year, $225 million will be invested nationwide!

This is the third round of projects being funded for the RCPP.  The RCPP provides conservation assistance to producers and landowners for the purpose of improving the nation’s water quality (including drinking water sources), combating drought, enhancing soil health, supporting wildlife habitat, and protecting agricultural viability.  Partners must provide matching funds or in-kind contributions, and may include state government agencies (including drinking water programs), water utilities, NGOs, and universities.

In the spirit of collaborating with other partners, I encourage you to read through the list of FY 2017 RCPP projects by state.  Some of them indicate an obvious connection to source water protection (such as projects on the list in Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, and West Virginia).  In other cases, the nexus with source water protection is more subtle.  I encourage you to “dig a little deeper” if you see a project in your state that is located in a source water protection area where you are currently working or would like to work.  The purpose of these projects is to encourage collaboration and leverage the expertise of numerous partners.  NRCS offices in each state can assist you in identifying and reaching out to the partners if you are unable to find information online.  Also, the NRCS website includes projects awarded for the past several years (the program began in 2015).  Since most programs are multi-year, you may want to refer to the past years’ projects as well.

Click here for the full list of 2015 projects.

Click here for the full list of 2016 projects.

An example of an ongoing RCPP project where source water protection is a key component of the project is the Connecticut River/Long Island Sound RCPP.  This 2015 RCPP project brings together dozens of partners in six states.  Source water protection is a stated priority for this project, even though the Connecticut River is not a drinking water source!   When the project was conceived, the Connecticut Association of Conservation Districts decided to include source water protection in one of its three focus areas for the project, Land Protection.  It was determined that, because this vast watershed is home to so many large municipal drinking water supplies, it is important to protect their sources.  As a result, $3.25 million is being directed to land protection in priority source water protection and critical habitat areas.  To learn more about this project, please refer to the project website:  http://www.lisw-rcpp.com/

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EPA Finalizes Stronger Standards for Pesticide Applicators

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 EPA has finalized its new standards for applicators who apply restricted-use pesticides that are not available for purchase by the general public, and require special handling.  The benefits of this rule include fewer acute pesticide incidents to people and reduced chronic exposure.  EPA’s stricter standards would require all people who are certified to apply restricted use pesticides as well as those working under their supervision to be at least 18 years of age. These certifications must be renewed every five years. Learn more about how the pesticide application rule protects workers from pesticide risk.  Read a blog post by Assistant Administrator Jim Jones about the strengthened standards.

 

Three New Water Story Map and Visualization Tools

SWC Nutrient Story Map:  The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has launched a new interactive highly-visual Nutrient Story Map as part of its Learning Exchange.  This Story Map includes a variety of information about nutrient pollution problems and harmful algal blooms, as well as source water protection challenges and nutrient reduction success projects taking place across the country (see related article).

USGS Water Use Visualization:  The USGS Water Availability and Use Science Program has developed a new “How Much Water Do We Use?” data visualization tool  that highlights USGS data from 1950 to 2010. The visualization highlights how water is used differently in the east versus west half of the country, and shows water use trends for thermoelectric power, public supply, irrigation, and industrial withdrawals. An accompanying press release can be found HERE.

EPA Water Progress Story Map:   EPA has launched a new “Protecting America’s Waters” interactive, multimedia story map to highlight the progress made to protect America’s waters since 2009. This story map features the most prominent accomplishments within the following areas: clean water protection; drinking water safety; water infrastructure; community assistance; climate change resilience; and science and innovation. The story map is a snapshot of EPA’s ongoing efforts toward clean and reliable water.

 

SWC Launches Nutrient Resources on Learning Exchange

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The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has launched a series of nutrient related resources as part of its Learning Exchange theme on “Nutrient Reduction Successes.”  We hope that these resources will be helpful for state drinking water programs and others to support and promote source water protection with their partners and stakeholders.  The resources include:

  • blogpost from Jim Taft (ASDWA), Lynn Thorp (Clean Water Action) and Karen Wirth (EPA);
  • A new interactive highly-visual Story Map highlighting projects across the country working to reduce nutrients;
  • A link to the SWC’s Agricultural Collaboration toolkit, which includes tips for partnering with Conservation Districts and State Conservationists; and
  • A link to the webinar recorded earlier this month on messaging SWP in agricultural communities.

To view the resources, visit the Learning Exchange page on the SWC website.

 

 

December 6th SWC Learning Exchange Webinar on Agricultural Messaging

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Please join us for the next webinar in the Source Water Collaborative’s (SWC) Learning Exchange Webinar Series about successful messaging in agricultural communities. While the impacts of nutrient pollution are often seen in surface water, many forget that nitrates affect vital ground water sources as well. Speakers from the Missouri Rural Water Association, EPA Region 3, and Lancaster Farmland Trust in Pennsylvania will share successful strategies on how they were able to overcome barriers that led to more effective outreach while maintaining and supporting the local economy and unique cultures.

Date:  Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Time:  1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern time)

Title:  Messaging Source Water Protection in Agricultural Communities

Register here