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Tap In provides you with weekly updates on water news and events in the UW-Madison community.
Water@UW Issue #102
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Tap In: Your Water@UW-Madison Community Newsletter

Week of April 6, 2020

Special Highlights

Welcome to another week in sunny Wisconsin. There are lots of virtual happenings this week! Below are a few special highlights. 
  • The 2020 Spring Symposium will be held virtually via Zoom on the morning of May 5th, from 9 am to noon. We will share the schedule when we have finalized the reorganization. See below for more information. 
  • Water@UW-Madison is hosting a virtual book club! Please fill out this survey by Friday, April 10th if you are interested in joining.
  • Want to be a part of this awesome organization? Nominate yourself to be part of the Executive Committee! Fill out this survey if you are interested.
We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week we are featuring how the Clean Lakes Alliance has pivoted from normal operations to conforming with new guidelines, and what it means for the future of the organization. Want your research project featured in our story-map? Tell us about it here.
Photo credit: Clean Lakes Alliance

Keeping the Focus on the Lakes: How the Clean Lakes Alliance is Furthering its Mission during this Crisis

Effects on Clean Lakes Alliance
The Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) is a Madison-based nonprofit whose mission is to improve and protect the lakes, streams, and wetlands in the Yahara River Watershed through community support, advocacy, and education. They work with various government agencies, businesses, and other nonprofits to further this mission. The employees at CLA are doing their best during this crisis. They face the same problems every other organization has when suddenly pivoting their operations to work-from-home, explained Adam Sodersten, the CLA Marketing and Communications Director. As a nonprofit, the CLA is funded through donations and is built on partner relationships. Maintaining these relationships has become more difficult as face-to-face events have been canceled or modified and because many of their partners, such as the City of Madison and Dane County, are focused on public health and safety.

Current Projects
The CLA is still pushing forward with their main projects and working to maintain relationships within the community. Regrettably, the April Yahara Lakes 101 and the Community Breakfast have been canceled. Other events have been pushed into virtual mediums to allow for active participation while social distancing. The Yahara Clean Compact, a major year-long undertaking that reports the status of the watershed, will now be published online to ensure that decision makers and citizens receive the latest information about our watershed. Additionally, about 70 volunteers are being supplied curbside with equipment and information to conduct lake monitoring duties. The CLA is working on other initiatives as well to provide relevant information to those working from home.

Future Impacts
Future impacts on the CLA will take two forms, explicit short-term event planning and a possible long-term increase in interest in the lakes by the Madison community. New programming was designed to maintain and build relationships after the crisis ends. Coffee chats and happy hours in the CLA office have been scheduled throughout the summer to allow for face-to-face interactions between interested residents and experts. This crisis is forcing the CLA to offer virtual programming as well, and that capability is expected to continue after normal functions resume.

There is a long-term impact on the relationship between local residents and the lakes as well. Our community has banded together during this crisis to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through massive disruptions to our daily lives. According to Public Health Madison & Dane County guidelines, we can still go outside to exercise, and our lakes have always been the centerpiece of outdoor life in Madison.  The beauty and tranquility of the lakes is one of the few constants at this time, and residents continue to use them as a refuge and sense of normalcy. This may result in a new interest in environmental conservation in general and the Yahara River Watershed in particular. The CLA is a poised to capture new enthusiasm and to further is mission of protecting and improving our watershed.

How can I help?

We all want to pitch in and do our part to beat the coronavirus and COVID-19. See below for ways to help our community
  • There is a massive demand for blood donations. Visit the Red Cross donation web page to learn more and schedule a donation
  • UW Health compiled a list of ways to help, including donating to the UW Health COVID-19 Response Fund. Check it out here!
  • Dane County has a list of volunteering opportunities throughout the county. Check it out here!
  • United Way of Dane County has a huge need for volunteers in food pantries across the area. Details
  • There are a million other ways to help our Dane County community. Visit the Facebook Group Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighbors to learn more!
Have ideas for us you would like to spread to the community, contact us at

Stay safe and stay healthy!
Events This Week

Environmental Chemistry & Technology Program Graduate Seminar: Accumulation of N-nitrosamines in crop plants
Date: Friday, April 10 @ 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Speaker: David Nielsen Franco, Graduate Students, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Location: Zoom Link
2020 Spring Symposium

The Water@UW-Madison 2020 Spring Symposium will be hosted online on May 5th. The theme for this year is Working Together to Address Water Challenges - UW-Madison and State Government. More details to come!
News and Announcements

Wisconsin Wastewater Operators' Association Scholarships and Tuition Aid details
A special benefit of membership in the WWOA is eligibility towards receiving financial aid for college expense. Three, $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year at the annual conference to financially assist a full-time student currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. Crane Engineering funds one and WWOA funds the other two $1,000 scholarships each year. Eligible students must be at least a second semester student in a degree program supportive of the wastewater field including civil, environmental, or sanitary engineering or other wastewater related degree programs. Award preference is given to a child(step) or grandchild(step) of a WWOA Member. 

North Central Laboratories (NCL) generously offers a $5,000.00 two-year scholarship each year to a student enrolled in a wastewater related field (the student receives $2,500.00 each for their Junior and Senior year for a total award of $5,000.00). The WWOA scholarship committee reviews the applications and recommends the award recipient to NCL.  A big thanks to Mike Raynovic and NCL for their generous support of the WWOA and the wastewater field! Deadline is July 1st.

Freshwater Collaborative Funding details
The FCW will address the Grand Water Challenges through five interdisciplinary themes; 1) Fundamental Research on Water Systems; 2) Driving Technology Innovation; 3) Workforce Development; 4) Resource for Science Driven Water Policy and law; and 5) Informing Sustainable Management of Water Resources. This initiative will encompass both research and education with educational offerings spanning undergraduate and graduate degree programs, continuing professional education, specialized training opportunities, and general public awareness. $1.1 million in funding will be available through these five tracks, with the actual number of awards varying by track. A PI at any institution within the University of Wisconsin System is eligible for an award. There are no restrictions on number of proposals per organization or PI. Proposals should clearly identify at the beginning of the title which Track is being proposed, e.g.”Track 2 Strategic Research:…”

Water Research Foundation open RFPs details
  • Integrating STEU and Other Emerging Water-Energy-Waste Technologies into Distributed/Decentralized Systems. Deadline April 23th.
  • Guidelines for the Demonstration of Pathogen Log Removal Credits in Wastewater Treatment. Deadline April 27th.
  • Benefits and Challenges in Pathogen Removal when Blending Advanced Treated Water with Raw Water upstream of a Surface Water Treatment Plant in DPR. Deadline April 27th.
  • Phase II Demonstration: Designing Sensor Networks and Locations on an Urban Sewershed Scale With Big Data Management. Deadline June 2nd.

Director of Freshwater Strategy at UW-Green Bay details
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay seeks a Director of Freshwater Strategy to lead the University in an external-facing capacity in its water-related initiatives. The position’s top priority, accounting for at least half of the position’s time, is to lead the University’s efforts, in partnership with regional stakeholders and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the designation of a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) for the Green Bay ecosystem. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is the designated state lead on the project. Additional responsibilities include collaborating with Titletown Tech ( ) on efforts related to their Agriculture, Water & Environment vertical. In addition, the Director of Freshwater Strategy will work to expand the University’s partnerships with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Science, Freshwater Collaborative Wisconsin, and the Division of Extension at University of Wisconsin-Madison to create opportunities and expand the impact of our existing freshwater academic and research programs, advance efforts to transform the University’s waterfront holdings across its multiple campus locations and research properties to better serve public and university interests, and to coordinate with regional governments, governmental and tribal agencies, and non-profit organizations on projects related to the region’s water assets and their role in improving quality of life and the recruitment and retention of high quality talent to Northeastern Wisconsin. The Director of Freshwater Strategy will report jointly to the Dean of the Cofrin School of Business and the Dean of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Deadline is April 26th.
More Info

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