SWC Learning Exchange: Linking Source Water Protection to Emergency Preparedness

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With spills and contamination events making headlines across the country, drinking water utilities face an array of challenges protecting their source waters from man-made and natural disasters. Is your community or utility prepared for a day without water? Strong partnerships and communication networks can help communities prepare and rebound quickly when contamination events occur. To prepare for the next emergency, you must understand your risks and have established lines of communication in place. Over the next month, the popular Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange will focus on making the connection between source water protection and emergency preparedness and response. It will provide resources and showcase examples for drinking water utilities and communities to better prepare for potential source water impacts.

On June 6, 2017 the Learning Exchange will also host a webinar that will leverage the case study from the spill on the Potomac River (in Virginia) in November 2016 to provide recommendations for a variety of participants including water utilities, and federal, state, and local governments. The water systems responded aggressively to this spill in order to provide continuity of operations but the emergency response by other governmental entities was not optimal from the water systems’ perspective. Past source water mapping, as well as ongoing source water monitoring, provided useful and timely data that was used in decision making by the impacted water systems. Hear from those on the frontline of the incident to hear what additional emergency preparedness work has been started as a result of the lessons learned from the event, so you too will be better prepared. Our panel will include Alan Roberson (Executive Director, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and Fairfax Water Authority board member) who will provide opening remarks, and Greg Prelewicz (Manager of Planning, Fairfax Water Authority) and Steve Beiber (Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments) who will provide a presentation about the Potomac River spill incident, lessons learned, and answer participants’ questions.

As always, if you have a compelling story or a new resource to share, or if you just want to connect with peers, reach out to the Collaborative via email (info@sourcewatercollaborative.org) or get in touch with a potential partner on the Allies directory.

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