The EPA expects to award between $1.8 to $3.8 million in funding for projects across the country to help restore urban waters by improving water quality and supporting community revitalization, as a part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land.  The goal of this program is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities such as public health, social and economic opportunities, general livability and environmental justice for residents.  Information about the Urban Waters Small Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) and registration links for the webinar. For more information on the EPA Urban Waters program.

Renewable energy sources have been used by water utilities to provide energy on a limited basis. Increasingly, there are compelling drivers for water utilities to investigate using renewable energy sources, such as local, regional, or state goals to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions; financial incentives to use renewable and alternative energy resources; water utility or community goals for sustainability; energy cost reduction; and the diversification of a utility energy portfolio for reliability and security. The research project objective stated by the Water Research Foundation is to present information, data, and knowledge using a case study format that will illustrate a variety of options that are available for water utilities to use renewable energy, including the opportunities, barriers, risks, costs, and benefits of implementing renewable energy projects. Proposals requesting funding up to $50,000 will be considered for this effort. Proposals should be submitted to [email protected] by 5:00pm MT on Monday January 9, 2012. For more information,

EPA, in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), is sponsoring the third Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) Security Summit at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, TN on March 22-23, 2012. The Summit is free and will actively engage a broad array of technical and leadership staff from the water sector and emergency response sector to discuss water contamination laboratory response coordination and take part in a table top exercise that practices the WLA Response Plan (WLA-RP). [Read more]

Last year’s Water Matters Fly-In proved how the drinking water and clean water communities can leverage their talents and resources and work together to get attention to our mutual issues on Capitol Hill. The 2012 Fly-In will again be a joint event for the nation’s two leading water associations: WEF and the American Water Works Association (AWWA). Once again, there are a number of issues the drinking water and clean water communities can take to Congress together, with the nation’s need to invest in water infrastructure being key among them.

The event will be held March 7-8, a Wednesday-Thursday affair, as it has been most years. Headquarters hotel will be the Hilton Arlington in Arlington, VA. WEF and AWWA will be conducting issue briefings and discussions on the first morning, and then delegates will be off to Capitol Hill to visit their own members of Congress.  A reception will be held that first night, followed by more visits to the Hill on Thursday morning.  The Fly-In will conclude with a debriefing luncheon Thursday.  More details regarding registration and hotel will be provided in an upcoming issue of TWIW.

Deadline for WEF MAs and AWWA Sections to name representatives is February 3, 2012.  Representatives from both organizations who try to register after that time will not be able to book rooms at the hotel, and rooms at all hotels in the Washington area hard to find in the spring. Contact  Nick Bardis at WEF ([email protected] or by phone at 703-684-2400 x7731) or Tommy Holmes in the AWWA Washington office ( [email protected] or by phone at 202-326-6128) if you have any questions regarding the event.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released on December 14 a new reportFailure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Water and Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure. The report found that unless $84 billion beyond current spending levels is invested in aging water infrastructure over the next decade, U.S. businesses will face $147 billion in increased costs while U.S. households will incur an additional $59 billion in costs  In addition, the report projects that if such additional water and wastewater infrastructure investments are not made, the U.S. economy could lose up to 700,000 jobs and suffer a gross domestic product (GDP) loss of $416 billion. [Read more]