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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, Dept. of Health, Charlestown Conservation Commission offering workshops on steps to improve drinking water quality

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 11, 2005 -- The relationship between land use, local ordinances and drinking water quality is the subject of two upcoming public workshops for municipal officials and other community leaders in the Charlestown area.

“How Changing Land Use Affects Water Quality” will be held on April 18, and “How Local Actions Can Protect Water Quality” is scheduled for May 4. Free and open to the public, the workshops begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Town Hall, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown.

The workshops are hosted by the Charlestown Conservation Commission 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 Charlestown, we’ll explore local actions to protect drinking water quality and discuss drinking water priorities in town.”

The second workshop will address the priorities and concerns raised in the first workshop, and emphasize how zoning and land use practices can control the impact of development on water quality.

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