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Ozark Waters 
Volume XIV, Issue 08
  February 24, 2020
In This Issue




Get pumped!

Call 417-739-4100

for septic pumping

in SW Missouri! 


  Shoreline Cleanups
(Click for more info)

Click HERE to Visit Ozarks Water Watch Website to find: 
  • Current Events
  • Newsletter Archives
  • Projects Updates
  • Water Quality Info
  • Maps
  • Links
  • Pictures & Videos
New Friendships
Cathy Stepp, Executive Director, Ozarks Water Watch
Greetings! I am delighted to join a fantastic organization whose work matters to all of us who call the Ozarks home.  After all, where would we be without clean water? During my first few weeks as the new Executive Director of Ozarks Water Watch, I've had the opportunity to share time with some of our region's founding families and generous benefactors.  To hear directly from them why they choose to invest in efforts to measure, monitor, and effectively communicate water concerns has been enlightening and inspiring. I'm sharing some pictures to give a bit more insight on my love of the outdoors... and to introduce you to our dog, Jack.

Exploring deep woods trails

Although I originate from "the north," (Wisconsin), my parents, husband, and I have adopted the Ozarks' unique beauty and warm hospitality into our hearts.  We purchased our home in Branson about 5 years ago, and up until now I've only had time to vacation here. My husband and I knew this would be the place to call our Forever Home. I'm blessed to now begin my Forever with Ozarks Water Watch.  I've been touched by the care I've seen for responsible resource protection while still having the ultimate respect for private property rights-a delicate balance to be sure. The Ozarks is special in so many ways.

Musky fishing with outdoor TV celebrity John Gillespie

I've had the opportunity to work on building coalitions with very diverse stakeholders on really tough issues during my professional life.  While working in the state and federal governments, I've witnessed the benefits of candor, cooperation, and relationship building when faced with difficult issues.  In my roles as a cabinet secretary and as a regional administrator for USEPA, I quickly learned that all perspectives need to be heard and compromises sometimes made to make improvements.

While many of us are busy with our kids, jobs, and meeting our household needs, it's easy to take something like clean water for granted. What a joy it is when we fill our bag limits while fishing and serve our catch to our families. Just turning on the faucet to wet our toothbrush is something we all do each day without much thought.

Our rat terrier, Jack, tagging along

But there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to ensure we continue to enjoy those simple pleasures in life.  From wastewater and drinking water treatment to shoreline stabilization and habitat restoration, the efforts of professionals and volunteers who put their hands and feet into motion shouldn't go unappreciated.  In a world of constantly evolving science and ever-changing regulations, it's difficult for producers and operators to keep up.  Combine that with the definition of "clean water" being regularly debated, and the table is set for potential conflict. However, it's also set for creative solutions.

It's my hope to engage our community in conversations going forward on how to understand the challenges we face on all things "water."  By listening and understanding the needs and practices of producers and engaging them with the regulators and policy makers to build bridges, there is no limit to the successes we can see on the ground.

My first successful turkey hunt after 5 attempts

I look forward to meeting and learning from the many folks who have thought about and worked on these important issues.  We at Ozarks Water Watch will continue to pay attention to the needs and ideas that can insure we all continue to confidently turn on the tap and enjoy our shore lunches for generations to come.

Quote of the Week    
"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers,
but of the human heart." 

~ Tanako Shozo
Identifying the source of water pollution using synthetic DNA sand
February 13, 2020

Sometimes it's helpful to follow a stream of water to find out where the water is coming from and where it's likely to go. If a stream becomes polluted, when will the pollutants reach a source of drinking water that the stream flows into? How much of this pollution makes it all the way downstream? And when the pressure disappears from your tap because something is wrong with the water supply, where does the blockage or leak really reside?

With the help of nanotechnology, researchers at NTNU are building tiny tracers that will make it easier to follow complicated flow paths, whether they are sewers or rivers. These tracers are particles that are designed to be easy to put into-and remove from-the water, and that are also easy to recognize afterwards.
To read more, click: HERE 
Springdale (AR) rejects Bethel Heights offer

Arkansas Democrat Gazette  
February 16, 2020
Springdale officials have rejected a request from Bethel Heights to tie their troubled sewer system to Springdale's system. "Our position and the city's position have not changed," said Heath Ward, executive director of Springdale Water Utilities. The utility provides water and sewer service only to Springdale residents and customers already served in other areas, he said.  
The utility is continuing to impose a moratorium on adding Bethel Heights water customers if they are served by Bethel Heights' sewer system. The state Department of Environmental Quality requested the moratorium in June. The state agency has investigated problems at Bethel Heights' sewer plants for about a year after a complaint last April to the department by Lawrence Bowen, who lives next door to the plants and reported untreated wastewater spilling into his yard. The state department ordered the city to close its plants and find another way to treat its wastewater. 
To read more, click: HERE 
Oklahoma bill would allow GRDA to study possibility of selling water to Missouri
The Joplin Globe 
February 15, 2020

A bill working its way through the Oklahoma House of Representatives would authorize the Grand River Dam Authority to evaluate the possibility of selling water to cities in Missouri. The measure, House Bill 4127, authored by state Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, would amend state law governing GRDA's operations, allowing it to "conduct a study on the sale of the waters under its control to the state of Missouri." Current state regulations prohibit GRDA from selling water to municipalities outside of Oklahoma. The GRDA does sell water to approximately 50 communities and organizations within the state.

Missouri American officials, in the early stages of building a reservoir to store water for Joplin, said they have not asked for the measure. The Tri-State Water Resource Coalition also has not asked for the measure, although it has explored the possibility of getting water from Grand Lake in the past. The coalition represents a number of communities in Southwest Missouri, including Joplin, Carthage, Monett, Mount Vernon, Springfield and Branson, as well as Jasper County.
To read more, Click: HERE 

Contact Info
OZARKS WATER WATCH                          MISSOURI OFFICE                                 ARKANSAS OFFICE

David Casaletto, President                         PO Box 636, 11 Oak Drive                      1200 W. Walnut, Ste. 3405
(417) 739-4100                                         Kimberling City, MO  65686                           Rogers, AR  72756