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Water: Water Headlines

November 13, 2012

1) EPA Releases Draft Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program and Grant Guidelines
2) EPA Launches Online Training to Assist Tribes in Managing and Maintaining Water and Wastewater Systems
3) EPA Releases Effective Utility Management and Lean Resource Guide for Water-Sector Utilities
4) Collaboration Toolkit for Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is Now Available Online
5) Updated Data Now Available through EPA's Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool


1) EPA Releases Draft Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program and Grant Guidelines
EPA has released the draft Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories for review and comment. The revised guidelines provide states and territories with a framework to use section 319 Clean Water Act grant funds to effectively implement their state nonpoint source management programs. The guidelines provide updated program direction, an increased emphasis on watershed project implementation in watersheds with impaired waters, and increased accountability measures. They also emphasize the importance of states updating their nonpoint source management programs to ensure that section 319 funds are targeted to the highest priority activities. EPA is requesting comments by December 7, 2012. Click here for the guidelines. Send comments to 319grants@epa.gov.

2) EPA Launches Online Training to Assist Tribes in Managing Water Systems
To help tribes and Alaska Native Villages manage their drinking water and wastewater systems, EPA is releasing a series of 10 on-line training modules covering an array of operation, maintenance, and system management issues at smaller drinking water and wastewater facilities. Training topics include information on managing and maintaining drinking water, sewer, lagoon, and decentralized infrastructure as well as information on sustainably managing water systems, including asset management and techniques for developing rate structures. The online training materials are geared toward operators and managers in tribal lands, but potentially could benefit anyone managing a small water or wastewater system. Click here for more information.

3) EPA Releases Effective Utility Management and Lean Resource Guide for Water-Sector Utilities
EPA has developed a Resource Guide to Effective Utility Management and Lean based on input and examples from several utilities. The guide explains how utilities can use these two important and complementary approaches to reduce waste and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness. Effective utility management provides a common management framework to help water and wastewater systems build and sustain the technical, managerial and financial capacity needed to ensure sustainable operations. While the focus is on outcomes water sector utilities should strive to achieve, there also is a need to demonstrate how other well-accepted tools can help utilities achieve these outcomes by improving efficiency, reducing waste in their operations, and improving other areas of performance. One set of tools involves the use of Lean techniques. Lean is a business improvement approach focused on eliminating non-value added activity or "waste" using practical, implementation-based methods. Click here for more information.

4) Collaboration Toolkit for Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is Now Available Online
The collaboration toolkit Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices is now available online. The toolkit offers effective steps that source water protection professionals working at the state level can take to build partnerships with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to get more agricultural conservation practices on the ground to protect sources of drinking water. Developed by the Source Water Collaborative, a group composed of 23 organizations working together to protect sources of drinking water, with support from EPA and in consultation with NRCS, the toolkit includes insightful tips and highlights specific opportunities states can take advantage of immediately. In addition, the Source Water Collaborative is working with the National Association of Conservation Districts to develop a locally-focused supplement to the toolkit to provide a step-by-step process for collaborating with conservation districts. Click here to view the toolkit.

5) Updated Data Now Available through EPA's Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
EPA has added updated data in the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT), a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. Specifically, the updates include the Facilities Likely to Discharge Nitrogen/Phosphorus (N/P) to Water data layer, which now provides information on nitrogen and phosphorus discharges from 2010 facility monitoring reports with corresponding nitrogen and phosphorus limits from EPA's Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool.  Another other update is the Waters Listed for N/P Impairments and Waters with N/P TMDLs data layers which now reflect data pulled from the Assessment TMDL Tracking and Implementation System (ATTAINS). These layers have been updated from information from 2008 and 2011, respectively. Click here for NPDAT and the updated data layers.

 


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