Informing and Sharing on Behalf of Our Subscribers
April 18, 2013
WERF research is a useful tool but it only makes a difference when we educate state and federal representatives on behalf of our Subscribers. Throughout the past few months, we’ve had the honor of showcasing WERF research to federal regulatory agencies and members of congress before our products have been released to end-users.
On March 19th, we held a joint agency briefing with over 50 U.S. EPA senior managers on Tools and Guidance for Creating Site Specific Numeric Water Quality Criteria for Nutrients (LINK1T11). LINK1T11 contains case studies, decision support tools, and a Nutrient Modeling Toolbox (NMT) for deriving site-specific water quality criteria for nutrients. WERF collaborated with the Water Environment Federation (WEF), National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and Association of Clean Water Administrators to inform the U.S. EPA and state regulators on the appropriate use of the NMT during the briefing. WERF research will be used as a starting point of specific guidance for process-based modeling. The product was introduced to other potential users in a web seminar on March 28th.
Earlier this month, WERF and the Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) sponsored a Congressional Briefing for "Adaptation Strategies and Information Needs in Response to Extreme Weather Events." Over the last two years, WERF and WaterRF have collaborated with a team from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), EPA, Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) and Noblis on a project to document the experiences and synthesize collective knowledge on the needs of water industry decision-makers to adapt to more frequent and costly extreme weather events. At the Briefing, members of congress and their staff heard directly from WERF’s wastewater and drinking water utility leaders about key outcomes and lessons learned.
We also had the opportunity to participate in a congressional tour to highlight DC Water’s fully implemented single-reactor DEMON sidestream and mainstream deammonification process funded by WERF. Sidestream deammonification is the first technology focus area for Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT). LIFT is a joint WERF/WEF effort to accelerate innovation and new technology evaluation and adoption. The LIFT Technology Evaluation Program (TEP) is the WERF-led effort of this joint initiative to address the need and desire of wastewater facility owners to reduce risk, share experiences, and collaborate on research to address current and future industry challenges.
Outreach efforts such as the congressional tour have led to additional backing of the new LIFT-TEP initiative. As part of its Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation, the EPA recently announced that it will support the LIFT program to share information about technology performance. EPA's blueprint seeks to identify opportunities and approaches to protect the nation's water resources that are under threat from a deteriorating infrastructure, impacts of climate change, continued population growth, emerging contaminants, widespread nutrient pollution, and strains on water supply. The blueprint highlights the EPA Office of Water's plans to advance and promote across various water programs technology innovation.
WERF is paving the way to increasing awareness among state and federal regulators, and government leaders of the capabilities of its products and initiatives to benefit our most important customer – the Subscriber.