From WEF, This Week in Washington

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton addressed the National Geographic Society on World Water Day. In her remarks, Clinton pointed out that access to reliable supplies of clean water is a matter of human security and are integral to the success of many U.S. major foreign policy initiatives. Clinton underscored the U.S. commitment to provide global leadership on critical water issues in areas such as agriculture, industry, energy, flooding, and access to adequate water supplies, sanitation, and hygiene. Clinton pointed out that water challenges are most obvious in developing nations, but affect every country on earth and transcend political boundaries. She added that as water becomes increasingly scarce, it may become a potential catalyst for conflict among and within countries. Clinton discussed five key U.S. approaches to global water issues to address these challenges:

  • A need to build capacity at the local, national, and regional levels where countries and communities must take the lead in securing their own water futures and work to expand their ability to address water challenges.
  • A need to elevate U. S. diplomatic efforts and improve coordination with United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, international institutions, and other regional and global bodies that are engaged in water issues.
  • Mobilizing financial support and making critical investments in programs that promote behavior that contributes to good sanitation and hygiene.
  • A need to harness the power of science and technology through innovation and discovery of better techniques for disinfecting and storing drinking water, wastewater treatment, desalinization, and use of global information systems that can be shared with the rest of the world.
  • Broadening the scope of partnerships with non-governmental organizations and nonprofits. and identifying strategic opportunities for working with private firms to help bring their technical skills and capital to bear in addressing the challenges facing the water sector.

UPDATE: And the winners are…

Mark Sulik, City of Chico

Michael Riddell, City of Ceres

David Haas, Rain for Rent

Jonathan Searcy, City of Lodi

90% of you say that you would recommend CWEA membership to other water environment professionals. Here’s your chance! Register for CWEA’s 2010 Annual Conference by April 12th for the opportunity to win a 1-year CWEA gift membership for someone in the early stages of his or her water environment career. Two generous sponsors are making this special offer possible so you can get your friends and colleagues involved in our work to keep California’s water clean and workforce strong.

March 2010 SSCSC at EMWD

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Registration table

Record attendance at a recent training event, here’s a report from the SSCSC website

On March 17th SSCSC held its annual “Inland Empire Workshop” at Eastern Municipal Water District in Perris, California. The most significant part of this workshop were the number of attendees. The 153 registered attendees surpassed the numbers attained at any of the previous 42 workshops. There were also 19 vendors attending  - significant number.

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The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), through the Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, is offering $100,000 to encourage researchers working in wastewater, water reuse, biosolids, stormwater, watersheds, and other areas to pursue groundbreaking research. Now celebrating its 10th year, the Paul L. Busch Award has supported some of today’s most talented young researchers as they begin to forge a legacy of innovative research leading to practical solutions for water quality problems. The award is one of the largest in the water quality industry.

The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research grants the award to an individual or team. Utilities, universities, environmental firms, and others conducting water quality research or engineering work are encouraged to apply. Applicants may self-nominate or be nominated by a third party. Interested individuals or teams must submit their application to WERF by June 1, 2010. More information on the Paul L. Busch Award, including the application process, is online at

When the CWEA 2010 Annual Conference kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 21, conference-goers will be taken on an exploration of topics pertinent to the ocean environment.

Learn the Latest on “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” When we see Marcus Eriksen of the Algalitha Marine Research Foundation at Opening Session, he will have recently returned from another data-gathering voyage on the ORV Alguita to better understand the impacts of oceanic micro-plastic pollution. What is the signifcance of micro-plastic pollutiion on to humans and other animals that rely on fish for food? Hear about the latest research findings. The Algalitha Marine Research Foundation has been engaged in nearly 15 years of marine research, education and restoration. It has world-renowned expertise in understanding the impact of plastic contamination on the planet’s oceans.

Sea Otters and Stinky Water? The California sea otter population is in decline. What’s in the water that the otters don’t like? And what are the wild and wacky environmentalists doing for sea otters that make life “interesting” for water quality professionals? Steve Shimek, Executive Director of The Otter Project and the Monterey Coastkeeper, will address these questions, as well as discuss Marine Protected Areas, and agricultural and urban water quality issues.  The Otter Project is an organization that promotes the rapid recovery of the California sea otter, an indicator of near-shore ocean health. The Montery Coastkeeper is part of  a national and international network of independent water “keepers” who champion clean water and healty waterways.

Explore the Undersea World. Almost every undersea expedition returns to shore with new information about our origins, evolution and destiny. See incredible high resolution video as David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution shares the most recent discoveres and introduces a new era of undersea exploration.  Dr. Gallo will also address how changing climate and diminishing fresh water supplies might alter human survival, global tensions, and the natural landscape. Dr. Gallo has participated in numerious undersea expeditions to the Altantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. He was co-expedition leader during an exploration of the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismark using Russian MIR submarines. Want a preview? Click here to see an excerpt from one of Dr. Gallo’s past presentations; Opening Session attendees are in for a treat!

Be sure not to miss Opening Session! See the full conference brochure for more inforamtion. It’s not too late to register for “Oceans of Opportunitices,” the 2010 CWEA Annual Conference!