PNCWA President Mike Ollivant's message
Call for Abstracts PNCWA2014 is open.
Abstracts must be submitted online by February 28, 2014 at www.pncwa.org/abstracts
Ensuring future generations enjoy high quality water is one of the fundamental callings of water quality engineers. While this calling is full of challenges, we understand that it is essential to protect our water resources for generations to come. Reducing stormwater impacts and providing leadership to tackle these challenges is the core theme of our 2014 conference.
With this theme in mind, the PNCWA2014 Conference Committee invites you to submit an abstract related to the core theme topics or other important topics related to our industry. Read or download the call and submit your abstract.
Water Trust Fund and WIFIA Bills
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) introduced the bipartisan H.R.3582 Water Protection and Reinvestment Trust Fund Act of 2013. The bill would create a voluntary labeling and contributory system to which businesses that rely on a clean water source could choose to opt-in.
Businesses could choose to place a small label on their products indicating their commitment to protecting America’s clean water. For each unit that displayed such a label, companies would contribute $0.03 to the Water Trust Fund. Businesses and products that could take advantage of the labeling system include: water based beverages, including soda and juice, and other products disposed of in wastewater, such as toilet paper and toothpaste.
Most of the funds would be distributed as grants and loans through the existing Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund to provide loans to publicly owned treatment works for wastewater treatment construction. Twenty percent of the funds will support a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority program based on the successful Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
The bill was introduced with original co-sponsorship from Representatives Tim Bishop (NY-01), John Duncan (TN-02), Donna F. Edwards (MD-04) Richard Hanna (NY-22), Jim Moran (VA-08), Tom Petri (WI-06), and Ed Whitfield (KY-01).
Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Bills
On November 12, Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in the US Senate, and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in the US House of Representatives, introduced S. 1677 and H.R. 3449 respectively. The Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act of 2013 would authorize EPA to allow higher education or research institutions to compete for grants that would set up the centers.
The centers would conduct research on green stormwater control, prepare manuals on the methods, disseminate information about the techniques and provide training to the public. The bills also would authorize grants to communities for green stormwater projects; the federal contribution would be no more than 65 percent of the cost of the project. Planning and development grants would be capped at $200,000, and implementation grants would be as high as $3 million. Priority would be given to communities with combined stormwater and sewer systems and for projects that serve low-income or disadvantaged communities.
WEF cheered the legislation because of its ability to help municipalities address needed infrastructure issues, “the impacts of stormwater runoff continue to increase as we develop the landscape, and it is becoming apparent that the use of natural systems, such as green infrastructure, can be an effective and cost-efficient approach to address these impacts,” Eileen O'Neill, interim executive director of the Water Environment Federation, said in a statement to BNA. “This legislation, which seeks to establish technical stormwater centers of excellence as well as seek innovative financing solutions to stormwater infrastructure needs is closely aligned with WEF's goal of driving innovation in the water sector.”
What if: The United (Watershed) States of America (?)
Source: Community Builders blog
The story begins with John Wesley Powell, the great one-armed adventurer and geologist. He was made famous for his successful runs through the Colorado River in 1869 and 1872. But perhaps his most important legacy rests in a lesser-known deed: Proposing in 1879 that as the Western states were brought into the union they be formed around watersheds, rather than arbitrary political boundaries. This idea rested on the observation that because of an arid climate, a statewide organization decided by any other factor would lead to water conflict down the road. Read more about the concept Water Quality Professionals know is critical: Original posting 9/26/13 by John Lavey, Sonoran Institute, Bozeman, MT Story by Reid Wilson in Washington Post 11/18/13 See also “The United (Watershed) States of America” on Google Earth
The Big Pipe: Portland's sewer and stormwater project shows it can handle Big Rain
But in the two years since the completion of the Big Pipe – the largest public works project in Portland history with an equally large final budget of $1.4 billion -- only six combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, have occurred, instead of 100.
The project included construction of massive underground tunnels on both sides of the river -- the Eastside and Westside big pipes -- and the Columbia Slough big pipe. The tunnels channel wastewater to an expanded pump station on Swan Island, which then sends it to Portland's treatment plant in North Portland. Continue reading at OregonLive
New Tool Helps Manage Stormwater
U.S. EPA desktop application calculates site-specific runoff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Stormwater Calculator helps users make land-use decisions to help prevent stormwater runoff. Photo courtesy of EPA. Click to see more information about the calculator.
An online stormwater calculator offers another tool to help protect waterways from runoff. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its National Stormwater Calculator to help property owners, developers, landscapers, and urban planners make informed land-use decisions to help prevent stormwater runoff, according to an EPA news release.
The calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific site based on soil conditions, slope, land cover, and historical rainfall records, the news release says. Users can download the application, enter any U.S. location, and select different scenarios to learn how green infrastructure changes can mitigate runoff. The tool was designed to help determine the cost-effectiveness of different green infrastructure solutions.
The tool allows users to learn how different green infrastructure practices can mitigate runoff and determine each practice’s cost-effectiveness. Photo courtesy of EPA.
The calculator is the first phase of the Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package announced in President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan in June. By the end of the year, EPA plans to update the tool so it includes the ability to link to several future climate scenarios, the news release says.