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Protecting water sources is goal of Delaware River Basin Forum March 10 in Newark


Contact:  Melanie H. Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; and DHSS Division of Public Health at 302-744-4704.

Protecting water sources is goal of Delaware River Basin Forum March 10 in Newark

DOVER (Feb. 24, 2011) – The Delaware River Basin Drinking Water Protection Forum will be held March 10 at sites throughout the region, including Delaware’s location – the University of Delaware’s (UD) Trabant University Center in Newark. The free forum will electronically connect regional and local officials, planners, water suppliers and other stakeholders at eight satellite locations in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Sign-in will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by welcoming remarks by DNREC’s Division of Water Director Kathy Bunting-Howarth at 8 a.m. The first session begins at 8:15 a.m. and will be webcast live from Philadelphia to all locations, including the University of Delaware. Regional topics will be presented in interactive discussions, followed by the transition to local activities at satellite locations beginning at 11 a.m.

On-line registration is required as seats are limited. A box lunch is provided. To view the agenda and to register at the University of Delaware site, visit

The forum will address the issues that impact water resources sustainably for the more than 1,000 communities and 18 million people who rely on surface and ground water in the Delaware River Basin. The goals of the forum are to connect regional water professionals, increase awareness of water resource decisions and issues and foster ongoing collaborations.

Highlights of Delaware’s activities include:

11:00 a.m.       Opening remarks by DNREC Deputy Secretary David Small

11:15 a.m.       Delaware surface water quality panel discussion among representatives of: DNREC; Delaware Health and Social Services; UD; and the City of Wilmington

12:00 p.m.       Questions and answers for panelists

1:15 p.m.         Remarks by DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf

1:30 p.m.        Delaware groundwater quality panel discussion among representatives of: U.S. Geological Service; DNREC; Delaware Department of Agriculture; New Castle County; and Delaware Rural Water Association

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has the lead role in developing and implementing the Delaware Source Water Assessment and Protection Program (SWAPP) that protects drinking water supplies in the state. In 1998 a SWAPP Citizen and Technical Advisory Committee was formed that ensures public involvement and is continuing to assist in developing and implementing Delaware’s SWAPP.

The Department of Health and Social Services’ Office of Drinking Water (ODW) protects the health of Delawareans by assuring safe drinking water through comprehensive monitoring, technical assistance and public education. ODW monitors the safety of 500 public water systems, making sure they meet the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Hosts for the Forum include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 2 and Region 3), the Delaware River Basin Commission and state environmental and health agencies in the basin states, including in Delaware – the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health Office of Drinking Water, the University of Delaware Water Resources Agency, and the Delaware Rural Water Association. Additional Forum partners include WHYY, private and municipal water suppliers, watershed- and water resource-focused organizations, environmental advocacy groups and academic institutions.

For more information contact, John Barndt, Source Water program manager at or 302-739-9945.

Almost all of New Castle County and the eastern portions of Kent and Sussex Counties drain into the Delaware River and Bay and lie within the Delaware River Basin.

Vol. 41, No. 61