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AWWA Sustainable Water Management Conference Held this Week

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) held its Sustainable Water Management Conference this week in Providence, Rhode Island (and ASDWA staff attended and presented).  Sessions and presentations during the two and one half day conference shared information on a variety of topics, such as water supply management, source water protection, sustainable technologies, regional emergency response collaboration, drought planning, water efficiency, green infrastructure, and more.  Conference highlights included:

  • An opening keynote speech by Joel Beauvais, the new Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water about the importance of taking a “SMART” approach to sustainable water: See the possibilities; Make connections; Advance innovations and technologies; Remember communities; and Take the long view).  He also cautioned that, as we collectively push the envelope of various innovative approaches, we need to ensure that we continue support and sustain communities that may still be struggling with the fundamentals.
  • A three session series on source water protection, one of which ASDWA sponsored on, “Source Water Protection Actions and Opportunities for Partners at Multiple Levels” with speakers from ASDWA, EPA Region 1, the Connecticut Drinking Water Program, Providence Water, and the Rhode Island Drinking Water Program and their technical assistance provider at the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Service. The other two sessions were entitled, “Tools You Can Use to Protect Your Source Water” (which referenced many of the tools on the web site:  sourcewatercollaborative.org) and “Seeing Green: Improving Water Quality and Quantity through Forestry.” During these sessions, presenters shared information about the Source Water Collaborative toolkits and brochures, EPA’s DWMAPS, Water Research Foundation reports, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities land conservation payment tools, and AWWA’s Cyanotoxin guidance.
  • A variety of source water protection and land preservation/conservation talks from around the country on: the New England Water Managers and Salmon Falls Watershed Collaboratives; economic benefits of forests in the Beaver Water District (Arkansas); leadership support in Portland (Maine); wealth management for landowners in Boston’s water supply watershed; timberland management for water supply quantity in Florida; and a residential incentive program in the McKenzie River Watershed (Oregon).

For more information about the conference, visit the AWWA web site.