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Water: Water Headlines

Week of March 21, 2011

  1. Celebrities 'Invade' Homes to Save Water
  2. EPA's Watershed Academy Sponsors 57th free Webcast Seminar: “Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Series: Nitrate in Ground Water”

Celebrities 'Invade' Homes to Save Water

March 22 is World Water Day - a day to appreciate all that water gives us in providing public health, environmental and economic benefits.  To help educate Americans on the need to save water, EPA's WaterSense program is joining its partner American Water, together with the Student Conservation Association, in promoting the Save Water Today public service campaign to highlight the critical issue of saving water for future generations. Save Water Today is an integral component of American Water’s year-long consumer education campaign promoting water efficiency and source water protection to help mark the company’s 125th anniversary.

The public service announcement (PSA) campaign comprises a quartet of PSAs that bring together Saturday Night Live alumni Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz, Diane Neal (formerly of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and 16-year-old national surfing champion Lakey Peterson to promote household water conservation. In each 30-second announcement, the uninvited – but not entirely unwelcomed – celebrity appears in someone’s home to deliver practical, action tips to viewers. 

For more information and to view the PSAs, visit www.savewatertoday.org.  For more information on what EPA is doing on water efficiency, visit WaterSense at http://www.epa.gov/watersense.

EPA's Watershed Academy Sponsors 57th free Webcast Seminar: “Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Series: Nitrate in Ground Water”

Join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a webcast titled "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Series: Nitrate in Ground Water" on Tuesday March 29, 2011 at 1:00-3:00 pm (EST). This webcast will highlight an emerging issue of increased nitrate loading to ground water, a growing national concern. According to EPA’s most recent data, public water systems using ground water as a drinking source serve over 300 million people nationwide. The total number of people drinking ground water increases when factoring in households supplied by private drinking water wells. Ground water can become contaminated by nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) leaching from the land surface into the ground water supply.

In a September 2010 report, “Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater,” the U.S. Geological Survey monitored and documented nitrate levels above 10 mg/L, which is the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations through the Safe Drinking Water Act, in over 20 percent of shallow household wells in agricultural areas. Additionally, from 1998 to 2008, the number of nitrate violations recorded at public water systems around the country has nearly doubled. Surface sources of drinking water are also at risk. For example, stormwater runoff can carry nutrients directly to rivers, lakes and reservoirs – some of which are used as drinking water supplies. Capital costs to remove nitrates from public water systems or to provide alternative water supplies for individual households can be very high, with some communities spending millions of dollars.

The webcast will provide a national overview of the nitrate in ground water issue and highlight a case study in Oregon’s Southern Willamette Valley. This webcast is a second in a series of Watershed Academy Webcasts on the impacts of nutrients on water resources.

Participants are encouraged to download the presentation, which will be posted prior to the webcast. For more information on the webcast, including the presentation, information on speakers, and to register, visit www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts. More information on nitrates in drinking water can be found at http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/nitrate.cfm.


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