Proposals Now Being Accepted for 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grants

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The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program is now accepting grant proposals  for 2018, and expects to award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide. The program is being directed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the EPA, the US Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx and Southern Company. The grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality (including protecting drinking water sources), watersheds and the species and habitats they support. Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship, and will represent a mixture of urban and rural communities. Proposals are due by Wednesday, January 31, 2018 and awards will be announced in July 2018. For more information, view the Request for Proposals and visit the NFWF website.

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WE&RF and WRF Webinar on Coordinating Water Management and Urban Planning Efforts

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On Thursday, December 7, 2017, from 1:00 pm–2:30 pm (eastern), the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and Water Research Foundation (WRF) will conduct a free webinar entitled, “Coordinating Water Management and Urban Planning Efforts.” During the webinar, speakers from the University of Arizona, Brendle Group, and Western Resource Advocates will present the findings from two parallel research projects (project #SIWM5R13 and project #4623) that can be used by both the water and planning sectors to improve coordination, promote resilience in urban environments, and help move cities towards a One Water approach. REGISTER HERE.

ASDWA to Co-Sponsor Technical Session at the March 2018 AWWA Sustainable Water Management Conference

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AWWA is holding its annual Sustainable Water Management Conference next year on March 25-28, 2018 in Seattle and ASDWA is co-sponsoring a technical session. This is the second time ASDWA has co-sponsored a technical session at the conference and this time, the session is entitled “Harness the Power of the Clean Water Act to Protect Sources of Drinking Water.” The session will feature national, state, and local leaders who will speak about their efforts to leverage regulatory programs and funding mechanisms of the Clean Water Act to protect sources of drinking water, and using the Safe Drinking Water Act to advance watershed goals.

The conference will also feature other technical tracks on water efficiency, resilience and sustainability, source water supply, water resource management and planning, alternative water sources, and water reuse. For more information and to register for the conference, visit the AWWA website.

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.

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.

AMWA Webinar on Water Utility Resilience Innovations

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The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies is hosting a free one-hour webinar on water utility resilience as part of its Innovation Series. The series highlights innovations by AMWA members through case studies in resilience and sustainability.

Date:  Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Time:  3:00pm – 4:00 pm (eastern)

Register here

The featured topics of this webinar include:  The Climate Action Plan at Fort Collins Utilities, which addresses energy efficiency and climate resiliency; and Austin Water’s Water Forward planning effort, looking at securing a resilient water supply for the next century.

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.

EPA Webinar on Land Use and Water Resources

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EPA will hold a webinar as part of the Safe and Sustainable Resources Research Program monthly series entitled, “Land Use, Environmental Stressors, and Water Resources: Degradation to Restoration.”

Date:  Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time:  2:00pm to 3:00pm (eastern)

Register at:  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4319992565037855234

During the webinar, presenters will discuss environmental stressors and management practices impacting global water quantity and quality; describe a conceptual framework for understanding and predicting global patterns of water use and water quality degradations; and discuss the role of ecosystem restoration and management in securing and improving water resources and related ecosystem services.

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.

 

 

 

National Academies Webinar on Climate Risk Resilience in U.S. Cities and Towns

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Date:  Thursday, May 25, 2017

Time:  2:00pm (eastern)

REGISTER HERE

 On Thursday, May 25th at 2:00pm, the National Academies will host a webinar entitled, “Climate Risk Resilience in U.S. Cities and Towns:  Current Processes and Emerging Trends.” The webinar will:  review and assess city-level activities, define key concerns that city stakeholders and practitioners have regarding climate resiliency, and evaluate significant challenges and opportunities that they face; and examine the role of science-policy linkages, co-production strategies, city-level knowledge networks, and federal-state-municipal connections.  In addition, a case study of post-Hurricane Sandy New York and the extended urban Northeast U.S. will be used to illustrate these points.