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GWPC Annual Forum Held this Week

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) held its Annual Forum this week in Nashville, Tennessee. The Forum was co-located with the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) WaterPro Conference and had a few combined sessions during the meetings. GWPC session presentations and discussions focused on a variety of groundwater resource and protection topics as follows:

• Examining the water quality and quantity issues associated with using deep groundwater for public water supply sources.
• Addressing EPA and state roles and concerns in making aquifer exemption decisions and determinations to inject waste into potential underground sources of drinking water (USDWs).
• Using Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) to augment water supplies while addressing potential problems from leaching of arsenic and other naturally occurring contaminants, as well as disinfection by-products (DBPs) in treated water.
• Highlighting water quantity and quality and land use disturbance issues in hydraulic fracturing activities, as well as best practices to help address them.
• Discussing nutrient pollution and mitigation strategies to protect groundwater from potential agriculture and stormwater related impacts.
• Using water quantity and quality monitoring data to develop the National Ground Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN).
• Working with EPA and states on Class VI carbon sequestration primacy applications and technical assistance needs.
• Sharing a variety of state source water protection successes and challenges such as developing state regulations, collaborating with multiple partners, and developing and implementing local protection plans and ordinances.

On the last day of the meeting, NRWA and GWPC held a combined session on EPA priorities that highlighted small water system funding, staffing, operating, and other technical assistance needs. Panelists from EPA, ASDWA, GWPC and NRWA emphasized the value of partnerships between EPA, state primacy programs, and rural water associations to ensure public health protection and compliance with new rules. They also noted the need for long-term source water protection (prevention) strategies versus short-term grey infrastructure solutions.