Tuesday, July 10, 2012

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Obtains "Green" Grant

(Kansas City, Kan., July 10, 2012) - EPA is providing a $59,876 urban waters grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to evaluate the effectiveness of  the Saddle Hills neighborhood's green infrastructure in metropolitan Omaha, Neb.

UNL and partners, including the City of Omaha and the Nebraska Forest Service, will assess green infrastructure practices by creating a water quality assessment database and developing a stormwater mobile application for smartphones and mobile devices. The application will allow users, such as local residents, youth, master gardeners and city staff, to learn about ways to reduce stormwater runoff. 

"Green infrastructure and stormwater management strategies play a critical role in water quality improvement by reducing runoff that carries multiple contaminants into streams and rivers," said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. "The project will empower community residents and land owners to look at stormwater as an asset rather than a waste product, and will increase public awareness and grassroots participation through workshops about urban water quality."

The funding is part of EPA's Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from urban waters and surrounding land.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, economic, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, EPA will help communities become active participants in restoring urban waters while improving and protecting their neighborhoods. 

EPA's Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 12 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts.

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Learn more about EPA's Urban Waters program: www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion7

Rainwater Harvesting Conference September 2012

Urban Rainwater Capture Focus of Annual Conference of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association

Mark your calendars for Sept. 10-12, 2012, in Raleigh, NC


With many parts of the U.S. facing drought, other water supply challenges, rising treatment costs, and effects of increased storm water runoff, ARCSA focuses attention on rainwater capture in the urban landscape for its annual conference September 10-12, 2012, in Raleigh, N.C.


This national association will deliver an extensive look at the latest technology, the regulatory environment, and new opportunities for the growing industry of rainwater system design, installation and products. In addition, several presenters from outside of the U.S. will provide a perspective on public acceptance and governance of rainwater harvesting from other parts of the world, particularly in Switzerland and Ireland.


The conference is open not only to ARCSA members, but also to a wide variety of affiliate industry groups, including architects, builders, plumbers, engineers, landscapers, gardeners, do-it-yourselfers, state and local water conservation leaders, and policy officials, in addition to rainwater system designers, installers and product representatives.


Session topics for the upcoming ARCSA conference will include:

• Rainwater harvesting and low impact development

• The energy, food, and water nexus

• Commercial rainwater systems (including military applications)

• Rainwater treatment standards for potable uses

• Storm water management and mitigation

• Updates on rainwater harvesting codes and standards from around the country


Both prior to and following the September conference, ARCSA will offer a number of professional training opportunities in the Raleigh-area: Certified Associate, Accredited Professional, and Rainwater Harvesting Master.


The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) is the premier national organization created to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices throughout the United States and the world. Its leadership and members work to create a favorable regulatory atmosphere, a growing resource pool of trained professionals, and an educated public on the many benefits of rainwater harvesting for potable and non-potable uses.  More information about ARCSA and the upcoming annual conference can be found at: http://www.arcsa.org