Excerpt from the Press Release:

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined U.S. Representatives Bill Enyart (D-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) in calling for members of a House-Senate Conference Committee to protect provisions based on the Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act which would improve the nation’s water infrastructure through public-private partnerships and help expedite projects – including lock and dam modernization along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers – while saving taxpayers money.

The Conference Committee – which includes U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) who both support the provisions – is tasked with working out the differences between the Senate passed Water Resources Development Act of 2013 and the House passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.

To read the full press release, visit http://bit.ly/PPPpressrelease.

EPA released a draft Groundwater Remedy Completion Strategy in October that aims to provide guidance to site remediation teams to enable better decision–making to effectively complete groundwater remedies as part of Superfund cleanups.  The recommended Strategy includes a step–wise plan and decision–making process for evaluating remedy operation, progress, and attainment of remedial action objectives.  The plan and process would rely on an updated conceptual site model, performance metrics, and data derived from site–specific remedy evaluations.

The completion strategy aims to help site teams direct resources towards the information and decisions needed to effectively move a site to completion while protecting human health and the environment.  Given that groundwater remediation can take years to decades to meet objectives, it is important to define metrics to measure performance and establish a clear decision–making process for managing a groundwater remedy through the completion phase.  EPA is seeking input on the draft Strategy by December 20, 2013.

To view the draft strategy, visit http://bit.ly/EPAGndRem.

To view EPA’s request for input, visit http://bit.ly/EPAGndRemInpReq.

WRAPHowitWorksThe Water Resources Action Project (WRAP) is pleased to be a part of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area (CFCNCA) this holiday season.  The campaign, which runs until January 15, 2014, offers federal employees an opportunity to donate to eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

WRAP is listed this year for the first time among the eligible non-profit organizations, and federal employees can now direct their gifts to WRAP using WRAP’s unique code: 88958.

WRAP has completed three rain harvesting installations and parallel education projects, impacting hundreds of school children in the Middle East, helping them to conserve water, improve sanitation, and educate students and communities on water conservation and environmental stewardship.  As always, every penny of every dollar WRAP receives goes directly to its projects.

WRAPprojectsWRAP’s next project, for which it is currently raising funds, will be a dual installation of rain barrel systems at Ort Holon, a Jewish coed school, and Ort Lod, an Arab coed school, both located in Israel’s Dan Region.  The educational curriculum will be implemented by the Arava Institute’s Youth Environmental Education Peace Initiative (YEEPI).  By sharing and engaging with one another on the experience of rainwater harvesting and environmental conservation, WRAP and YEEPI hope to connect students from varying cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs to collaboratively address environmental issues, while breaking down communication barriers.

To learn more about WRAP’s next project, visit http://www.wrapdc.org/projects/whatsnext/

Federal employees can donate through CFCNCA by visiting http://my.cfcnca.org/ and using WRAP’s code: 88958

To learn more about the Combined Federal Campaign, visit http://www.opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign/

(ELI) A new study from the Environmental Law Institute finds that the federal government provided approximately $25.425 billion in financial support for coal production, transport, use, or waste disposal during the period 2002-2010. The majority of these dollars — $16.214 billion — are attributable to tax benefits. Of these tax benefits, the single largest category was the nonconventional fuels tax credit, providing $12.22 billion to coal. This credit is no longer available to producers of most coal–derived fuels and is set to sunset for all nonconventional fuels from coal by 2014, decreasing total coal support by 47 percent.

Coal is the most significant source of energy in the United States and has been for years. Like most other energy sources, coal has received support from the federal government. The ELI report quantifies the amount the federal government spent to support coal during the period from 2002 to 2010. This report also identifies and, where possible, quantifies spending that benefited, but did not specifically target, coal.

This report focuses on federal government support for coal through direct spending and its equivalent in foregone revenue collection. This spending includes any action by the U.S. government that results in a cost to government and an identified benefit to coal production, transport, use, or waste disposal.

To read the full press release, visit http://www.eli.org/pressdetail.cfm?ID=264.

To access the study details, visit http://www.elistore.org/reports_detail.asp?ID=11462.

The Water Resources Action Project is pleased to unveil its revamped website featuring updated news, information on its ongoing projects, images, biographies of our newest board and team members, a comprehensive introduction to the basics of rain harvesting system technologies, and many other additions and improvements.

On the “How it Works” page, users can now find a detailed PowerPoint presentation on rainwater harvesting technologies including rain barrels and cistern systems, describing why they are practical, their components, the catchment and conveyance system, and a cost benefit breakdown for each.  Picture galleries have also been added to the page illustrating each type of system.
The “Projects” page now provides a convenient and detailed table of WRAP’s current efforts.  Graphs of water collection volume have also been added for the projects where data is available.  The website’s “What’s Next?” page further details WRAP’s upcoming effort for which the group is currently raising funds: a dual school installation and paired environmental curriculum at Ort Holon and Ort Lod High Schools in Israel’s Dan Region.  Ort Holon is a coed Jewish school with 1,288 students in Holon City, and Ort Lod is a coed Arab school with 800 students.  Installing rain barrel systems at each school and engaging the students in a shared environmental curriculum with regular communication and visits between the schools would encourage dialogue as well as provide the schools with adequate water supplies for toilet flushing and community gardening.  WRAP plans to partner with Arava Institute’s Youth Environmental Education Program Initiative who will implement the educational component for this upcoming effort.

The website now provides convenient links to our newly created Facebook page (www.facebook.com/wrapdc) and Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/WRAP_DC) where you can keep up to date with WRAP’s most recent news.

See all the latest updates at www.wrapdc.org.

In an ongoing effort to assure effective implementation of the Water Quality Standards (WQS) established under the Clean Water Act (CWA), EPA published a proposed rule for public comment in the Federal Register on September 4, 2013.  The proposed revisions would require states and tribes to obtain Administrator or appropriately delegated approval authority for the anti–degradation methods used to protect water quality.  EPA is accepting comments for this proposed structure and an alternative whereby states and tribes may opt out of a formal review.  Beyond Administrator approval for new or revised WQS, the FR proposed rules address designated uses, triennial reviews, anti–degradation, variances to WQS, and compliance schedule authorizing provisions.  The comment period will remain open until December 3, 2013.

To see the full FR notice, visit http://bit.ly/WQStReCl.

Water in the West, a Stanford University partnership between the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West, published a literature review in August on the water and energy nexus.  The review uses a water–energy life cycle approach to study related literature from the academic, government, and nonprofit sectors in order to evaluate the current state in the water–energy research field.  It covers research on energy used in the processes of water extraction, conveyance, treatment, and distribution, as well as water use in energy activities such as natural gas extraction, thermoelectric generation, and biofuel transportation.

To see the full literature review, visit http://bit.ly/WatEngLitRev.

EPA recently announced a joint $3.4 million investment by EPA, the State of Maryland, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to enable an expansion of the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Initiative (G3).  Administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the program aims to support President Obama’s Executive Order for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay. 

The central function of the G3 initiative is to help municipalities and nonprofits with projects to add green space and green infrastructure.  These projects would reduce stormwater runoff, increase tree cover, capture and filter rainwater, and improve watershed protection, community livability, and economic vitality. 

To read the full EPA press release, visit http://bit.ly/GrInPr.

(Houston Chronicle) The use of one precious fluid — water — to recover another — oil — chafes in dry country.  Rivers and groundwater are receding in Texas for lack of rain and over–pumping just when the demand for water in new oil and gas fields is growing.  Now one exploration and production company in San Antonio is fracturing its wells mostly without water, using gas liquids instead, in a practice that’s beginning to spread.  BlackBrush Oil & Gas LP is using a butane–rich mix for fracking after being confounded by many of the same obstacles other energy companies face in buying, moving and disposing of large amounts of water.

To view the full report, visit http://bit.ly/HouCroArticle.

WRAP to Exhibit at J Street Conference
By: Water Resources Action Project
September 2013

The Water Resources Action Project (WRAP) will join dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals for the fourth National J Street Conference that runs from September 28 — October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.  The conference brings together pro–peace advocates providing participants with the opportunity to hear from world class experts about developments in the region, strategize with innovators and activists working to solve the conflict, and connect with other committed supporters.  This year the conference is titled, “Our Time to Lead” and features an incredible array of speakers.

WRAP will be exhibiting at the conference to share its story and vision for the future.  WRAP has successfully installed rainwater–harvesting systems at two schools in East Jerusalem and one in the West Bank.  The harvesting systems collect and store precious rainwater during the six–month rainy season.  The collected water is used primarily for toilet flushing and can provide up to 70% of a school’s total water needs.  Each project includes a parallel educational component and routine maintenance.  Thus far, in a very short time completed, the projects have already conserved over 180,000 liters of rainwater benefiting over 1,200 students.

WRAP’s next effort, for which it is currently raising awareness and funding, is particularly focused on peace building.  The project installations would consist of two rain barrel collection systems at partnering schools in Israel’s Dan Region, a coed school serving 1,288 Jewish students and a coed school serving 800 Arab students.  WRAP has established a partnership with the Arava Institute’s Youth Environmental Education Peace Initiative to administer the environmental curriculum.  The curriculum would include opportunities for the students from both schools to engage with one another over shared efforts to protect the environment and conserve water.  Through the sharing of knowledge, goals, and experience, the project would help to increase trust between Jewish and Arab youth.

WRAP is excited to share its vision for this project and connect with many organizations and individuals at the J Street conference at the end of this month.

To learn more about WRAP and become involved, visit www.wrapdc.org.

To learn more about the J Street Conference, visit conference.jstreet.org