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Forum to Address Threats to Water Supplies in Delaware Basin: Connecting Four States for Drinking Water Protection

Release Date: 03/02/2011
Contact Information: David Sternberg 215-814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (March 2, 2011) – Threats to sources of drinking water and public health for more than 15 million people in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York will be the focus of a high-level forum in Philadelphia and five satellite locations on March 10.

Government leaders and national water experts will highlight challenges to the quality and quantity of water fed from the Delaware River Basin, a 13,000-square-mile area that includes 838 municipalities in parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

The Delaware River Basin Forum will feature a central session at the WHYY Hamilton Public Media Commons on 150 North 6th St., Philadelphia, where speakers will describe current and emerging impacts on water resources basin-wide. The forum will feature state-of the-art interactive technology to link live to five satellite locations, in four states outlining local drinking water concerns.

At the WHYY venue, Tufts University Professor Jeffrey K. Griffiths, one of the nation’s leading experts on waterborne disease and public health, will make the keynote presentation on “Drinking Water: Fact, Fears and the Future” at 12:15 p.m. Morning presentations will include the impacts to public health in the Delaware River Basin from water use, population growth and climate change, and will feature model water protection efforts in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington Township, NJ. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin will provide opening remarks at 8:15 a.m.

The satellite locations are in Newark, DE; Reading and Stroudsburg, PA; Bordentown, NJ; and Loch Sheldrake, NY.

Information on the forum, including a full lineup of speakers at the Philadelphia location, agendas and directions for each satellite location and background on issues facing the Delaware River Basin is available at http://www.delawarebasindrinkingwater.org/

Nearly 1,000 community water systems depend on water resources in the Delaware Basin, and the water is used extensively for recreation, fisheries and wildlife, energy, industry and navigation.

The Delaware River Basin begins in the Catskill Mountains in New York State and courses through 13,500 square miles of rural and urban landscapes to the Atlantic Ocean.
The forum is sponsored by the Source Water Collaborative, a coalition of 23 national organizations and agencies united to protect sources of drinking water. Local hosts for the forum include the US EPA (Region II and Region III), state environmental and health agencies of Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and the Delaware River Basin Commission.