The Drinking Water Section of the Connecticut Department of Public Health hosted an introductory workshop to outline and develop a statewide source water collaborative. The Collaborative is intended to identify common challenges and risks to drinking water supply sources and develop processes that work towards permanent protection of these sources. Protection of these sources provides increased public health protection.
The full day workshop was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was held on December 4 in Wallingford, CT. Approximately 40 attendees provided diverse representation from federal, state, local, educational, water utility and non-government organizations. They provided excellent input and insight as to what joint initiatives could benefit Connecticut’s drinking water supply sources. Three distinguished speakers and a professional moderator/facilitator guided the discussion. The facilitator was Dr. Christine Feurt from the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve and the University of New England. The speakers were: Dr. Chi Ho Sham from The Cadmus Group who discussed AWWA Standard G300: Source Water Protection, James Taft from the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators who spoke about creating a successful collaborative, and G. Tracy Mehan from the Endowment for Forestry and Communities who discussed the Endowment’s initiatives to protect forest cover, the importance of forest cover to drinking water quality, and the cost savings that can be achieved by protecting land.
The afternoon session, led by facilitator Chris Feurt, included facilitated discussions, live polling, and a review of compiled polling results to assist the Collaborative in charting its direction.
96% of attendee evaluations rated the workshop as good or excellent. Connecticut DPH will compile and organize the feedback and provide ideas for the group to determine what concepts are most appropriately pursued in 2014 that would support the development of a Collaborative for CT.
The CT Dept. of Public Health greatly appreciates the continued support from EPA Region 1 and EPA Headquarters in Connecticut’s efforts to forward source water protection. Questions/Comments can be directed to Lori Mathieu (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric McPhee (email@example.com) at the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Drinking Water Section ((860) 509-7333).
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