Partnerships: Source Water Collaborative (SWC) Mid-Year Update
NALMS is a member organization of the Source Water Collaborative.
As co-chair, one of my goals is a mid-year update on the Source Water Collaborative’s (SWC’s) Action Plan and progress, so I wanted to take a few moments to summarize our work this past year for all members. In our first year with member financial contributions, I think it’s an important opportunity to provide a big picture perspective, so everyone understands the sum of our efforts and collaboration.
- The SWC helped promote effective working relationships for Farm Bill implementation since the Farm Bill was signed into law in December 2018 via the SWC’s Conservation Programs Subgroup. SWC members identified ways stakeholders can connect Farm Bill conservation provisions with state and local Source Water Protection (SWP) opportunities; provided input to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for source water provision implementation; and met with US Forest Service (USFS) to discuss opportunities to promote SWP through Farm Bill Title VIII, Forestry (see attached). Several SWC members participated in a panel at the National Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting, at the American Water Works Association Sustainable Water Management Conference in March, and at River Network’s River Rally in June. Most recently SWC hosted a Learning Exchange on the Farm Bill, “Working with NRCS and Agricultural Partners to Protect Drinking Water Sources.”
- The SWC’s Emergency Response/AWIA Subgroup worked to identify and plan for tool and resource development for community water systems and state drinking water programs to better understand new requirements and opportunities afforded by Section 2018 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA). To date, EPA has completed the AWIA Amendments to EPCRA Fact Sheet for State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs), and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) – available here. EPA also developed a companion fact sheet for state drinking water agencies and utilities – available here.
- The SWC’s Conservation Toolkit Infographic was updated with relevant Farm Bill information and shared with all 50 NRCS State Conservationists and with many conservation districts at the NACD Annual Meeting, and with the nine new State Conservationists at their training in Washington, DC.
- A SWC Workshop Planning Group along with state source water coordinators are planning the September 16 SWP Workshop as part of GWPC’s Annual Forum in Oklahoma City. The workshop will focus on connecting with NRCS and agricultural partners to access source water protection opportunities in the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as other new opportunities and incentives to advance source water protection. Registration is open now: http://www.gwpc.org/events/2019-annual-forum.
- The Contingency Planning/Funding Subgroup is identifying potential funders and developing funding materials that highlight the SWC’s work. The subgroup will also share discovered funding opportunities with regional/state/local SWP projects and initiatives.
- Finally, this spring, we expanded our membership from 27 to 29 members, welcoming the Soil and Water Conservation Society and the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities. In case you missed it, read our highlight announcing the SWCS, and announcing the Endowment’s membership.
We look forward to your continued engagement and support for the SWC and these efforts. We will continue to provide updates to members on the implementation of these activities as they progress and will be sending out invoices for member dues to continue our work. Please let us know of your activities and your interest in connecting with any of these activities.
Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to share new opportunities you’d like to see the SWC address.
Co-Chair, the Source Water Collaborative
Associate Executive Director, The Ground Water Protection Council