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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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.

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.

EPA Webinar on Global Change Explorer Web Tools

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On Wednesday, May 31 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm (eastern), EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research program will host a webinar about its Global Change Explorer collection of web tools that allow visualization, comparison, and access to spatial data that describe potential future environmental change. These data can serve as a starting point to assess the vulnerability of air, water, ecosystems, and human health to climate change, land use change, and other large-scale environmental stressors. The data and tools are relevant across multiple scientific disciplines and environmental media, providing a foundation for integrated assessment of global change.

During the webinar, presenters from EPA’s Office of Research and Development will provide an overview of the three web tools – Land Use, Watersheds, and Deposition — that comprise the Global Change Explorer.  REGISTER HERE

For more information about EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research program, view its Research Action Plan.

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.

 

EPA Webinar on Free Emergency Preparedness Resources for Water Utilities

 

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On May 3, 2017 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm (eastern), EPA’s Water Security Division will host a webinar on free preparedness tools and resources for drinking water and wastewater utilities, including the new Route to Resilience (RtoR) Tool.  The webinar will benefit water utility operators and managers, state and tribal primacy agencies, drinking water and wastewater utility stakeholders, and water utility partners and associations.  REGISTER HERE.  Links and instructions will be sent to participants via email prior to the event. If you have additional questions, please contact WSD-Outreach@epa.gov.

Webinar on Innovative State Water Agency Practices: Working Toward Resilience

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EPA’s Office of Water is hosting a webinar to showcase state innovative practices that build resilience into their water resource programs, as part of a collaboration with ASDWA, the Association of Clean Water Administrators, and the Association of State Wetland Managers.

DATE:              April 27, 2017

TIME:               1:00 – 3:00pm (eastern)

REGISTER HERE

This webinar will highlight three innovative state initiatives that address novel stressors and improve the resilience of program operations. These examples are drawn from the Innovative State Water Agency Practices database, which includes additional practices on EPA’s website.

EPA Publishes New Route to Resilience Tool

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EPA has published its new Route to Resilience (RtoR) tool that will help small and medium sized drinking water and wastewater utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all-hazards such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and contamination incidents.  The interactive desktop application guides utilities through 5 stops along the Route to Resilience — Assess, Plan, Train, Respond, and Recover. RtoR also provides utilities with a custom report that highlights products and tools that will help utilities on their path to resilience.  To share with your utilities and download the tool, visit EPA’s website.

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.