Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Software Tool Helps Protect Nation's Drinking Water

Date:
October 13, 2006
Source:
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Summary:
A new software tool that can be used by incident commanders, water utility managers and others to protect community drinking water sources from contamination during emergencies is now available in all 50 states.

A new software tool that can be used by incident commanders, water utility managers, and others to protect community drinking water sources from contamination during emergencies is now available in all 50 states. Preliminary versions of the tool, called ICWater, have already been used by water utilities and State HAZMAT (hazardous materials) response teams in Oregon and Washington, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Now, the tool is available for use by every state in the Nation, according to its developer, Douglas Ryan, a scientist at the USDA Forest Service's PNW Research Station. Recognizing the need for a readily available, single source of information, Ryan led an interagency effort to develop ICWater (pronounced "icy water"), a tool designed to help incident commanders protect drinking water in an emergency. He serves as the effort's overall task manager and is based at the PNW Research Station's Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Olympia, Wash.

In the United States, hundreds of thousands of bodies of surface water--like lakes, rivers, and reservoirs--help supply the American public with its drinking water. If a chemical, radioactive or biological contaminant were accidentally or intentionally introduced into a drinking water source, knowing what threat it posed to the public would be essential for incident commanders who direct first responders to mount an effective emergency response.

"Incident commanders need timely and accurate information to guide their decisions on deploying first responders to best protect the public," said Douglas Ryan, manager of the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Aquatic and Land Interactions Program. "This information often can be drawn from sources that already exist, but they are scattered and usually not quickly available to on-the-scene commanders in emergencies."

ICWater is a computer--based tool that integrates multiple information sources and data for incident commanders at the scene of a surface water contamination. With this information, it quickly produces maps, tables, and charts that tell incident commanders if drinking water intakes are in the contaminant's path, and when and in what concentration the contaminant will reach the intakes. Developing ICWater drew upon the extensive expertise of the USDA Forest Service in water research as well as data sources from several other agencies.

In addition to the USDA Forest Service, the Technical Support Working Group, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA and Defense Threat Reduction Agency have supported this effort. The tool is being produced under government contract by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

To learn more about ICWater and how it works visit http://eh2o.saic.com/icwater/

The PNW Research Station, headquartered in Portland, Ore., generates and communicates scientific knowledge to help people understand and make informed choices about natural resources and the environment. It has 10 laboratories located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 500 employees. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw for more information.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. "Software Tool Helps Protect Nation's Drinking Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012185512.htm>.
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. (2006, October 13). Software Tool Helps Protect Nation's Drinking Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012185512.htm
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. "Software Tool Helps Protect Nation's Drinking Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061012185512.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins