AWWA Publishes New Water Utility Guide on USDA Tools for Source Water Protection

AWWAAWWA has published a new guide entitled, “USDA Tools to Support Source Water Protection.” The guide highlights opportunities for water systems to leverage USDA conservation programs to expand the effectiveness of community partnerships and protect drinking water sources. It includes an overview of nutrient challenges and SWP; seven specific actions for water utilities to get involved in agricultural conservation projects in their watersheds; information about USDA conservation programs including how to apply and who to contact; along with a variety of case studies and project examples; as well as information about how AWWA is working with members of Congress and other partners on the reauthorization of the 2018 Farm Bill to provide long-term support for source water protection. The seven actions in the guide emphasize that water utilities can:

  1. Help shape how conservation dollars are spent, focusing them on the greatest benefits to source water protection.
  2. Foster mutual trust and understanding between water systems and farmers, encouraging constructive problem-solving.
  3. Make progress on specific source water concerns by focusing on practices that will best address them.
  4. Save on treatment costs or delay or avoid installing additional treatment.
  5. Reduce risks to their water supplies.
  6. Increase public confidence in both water and agricultural sectors.
  7. Leverage every dollar they contribute through NRCS and other partners.

For more information, view and download the guide HERE.

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NEMWI Report and Briefing on the Cost of Nitrate Treatment for Mississippi River Basin Water Utilities

NEMWIThe Northeast-Midwest Institute (NEMWI) recently published a report and hosted a Congressional briefing on “Source Water Quality and the Cost of Nitrate Treatment in the Mississippi River Basin.” The report shares the findings of a ten-year study showing that levels of nitrate in source water exceeding the SDWA maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 mg/L are occurring with increasing frequency. The study focused on three water treatment plants in the Upper Mississippi River Basin:  Des Moines, Iowa; Decatur, Illinois; and Vermilion County, Illinois, and tracked nitrate levels and the contributors to these increasing levels as well as the related treatment costs for the water utilities. For more information and to read the study, go here.

The associated briefing was held on Capitol Hill on May 23rd and was hosted in collaboration with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The briefing featured a panel of four science and policy specialists who presented on the importance of conservation initiatives and water quality monitoring to preserve the health of the Mississippi River Basin. For more information and to view a recording of the briefing, go here.

New AWWA Report Highlights Source Water Protection in Water Utility CCRs

AWWAAWWA has published a new report entitled, “Communicating Source Water Protection Efforts in Consumer Confidence Reports (CCRs).” This new report serves as a guidance document that is designed to help small and medium-sized utilities write more effective CCRs that educate customers about source water protection needs and efforts. The complimentary report is only available to AWWA members for the first six months. For more information, visit the AWWA website.