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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, Dept. of Health, Coventry Planning Board offering workshops on steps to improve drinking water quality

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- January18, 2005 -- The relationship between land use, town ordinances and drinking water quality is the subject of two upcoming public workshops for municipal officials and other community leaders in the Coventry area.

“Linking Land Use to Water Quality” will be held on Feb. 2 at 7 p.m., while “Building Drinking Water Protection into Town Ordinances” is scheduled for Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. Both workshops are free and open to the public and will be held at the Coventry Planning and Development Offices, 195 MacArthur Blvd., Coventry.

The workshops are hosted by the Coventry Planning Board and feature speakers from the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension and the R.I. Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water Quality.

“In the first session, we’ll focus our discussion on how changing land use alters the natural hydrology and increases the risk of contaminating groundwater aquifers and surface waters,” said Lisa Philo, a URI Cooperative Extension educator who is organizing the workshop with colleague Lorraine Joubert. “Using the actual results of the recent Source Water Assessment conducted in Coventry, we’ll summarize current practices and recommendations for controlling development impacts.”

The second workshop will address how to incorporate current practices for controlling development impacts into local zoning and land development ordinances. It will emphasize the need for town action beyond the state’s minimum standards, and it will offer questions that should be asked in the review of any proposed development project.

For more information about the workshops, contact Philo at 401-874-5687 or Advanced registration is recommended.