Land-use webinar to focus on planning to protect water supplies

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Planning for and protecting public and private water supplies will be the topic of a Web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at noon on March 18.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Neal Fogle and Peter Wulfhorst, Penn State Extension educators, and Julie Kollar, program director of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters Water Resources Education Network.

Titled "Planning to Protect Your Water Supply -- Taking Action to Safeguard Water Supplies through Source Water Protection," the webinar will cover how water issues are addressed in the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and will provide an overview of related laws and policies. It also will include examples of water protection programs that have been implemented in Pennsylvania communities, according to Fogle.

"Protecting water supplies is an issue of great concern for communities in the state, and many are developing forward-thinking approaches to safeguard water sources," he said.

"The webinar will assist communities, planners and public water system personnel in learning about tools and management options to protect drinking water now and for future generations."

Wulfhorst noted that the webinar will use a science-based approach to water protection to help keep contaminants from energy extraction, stormwater runoff and transportation spills from threatening public health.

"The need for water protection programs is evidenced by the fact that several high-profile incidents of drinking-water contamination affected water supplies for hundreds of thousands of people in 2014, including in Toledo, Ohio, and Charleston, West Virginia, as well as at the former Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania," Wulfhorst said.

Kollar emphasized that collaborative initiatives in Pennsylvania can minimize contamination risks, reduce costs and enhance cooperation among planners, elected officials and citizens.

This webinar is part of Penn State Extension's winter/spring monthly land-use series. Future programs, which also start at noon, will include the following:

--April 15: "All about Open Space -- Owning and Managing Natural Lands."

--May 20: "Agri-Tourism for Pennsylvania Communities."

All of these programs, including last month's webinar, "Using the Official Map for Your Community's Infrastructure," are recorded and available for viewing.

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association.

For more information, contact Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu. To register for the webinars, visit the website.

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Last Updated March 13, 2015