MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – (Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014) – The 3 Rivers QUEST (3RQ), a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, hosted the Convergence at the Confluence Conference in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Monday, Aug. 11. The conference, funded by the Colcom Foundation, brought together those involved with the regional water quality monitoring program and gave the public an opportunity to learn more about water quality in the Upper Ohio River Basin.
The conference featured talks from the program’s research partners, including Melissa O’Neal of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, Dr. Brady Porter and Dr. Beth Dakin of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, and Dr. Benjamin Stout of Wheeling Jesuit University. The various research partners provided overviews of water quality data in their respective areas of focus, including the Monongahela River, Allegheny River, and the Ohio River.
In addition to the presentations focused on the researcher’s data, the event also provided a great opportunity for the various watershed groups involved 3RQ to network and discuss, in an open format, their monitoring efforts.
“Biweekly chemical monitoring in the Monongahela River Basin was initiated in 2009 and by early 2013 the 3RQ research partners had begun monitoring throughout the Upper Ohio River Basin,” explained O’Neal. “We’ve also had numerous watershed groups involved, so a lot of data has been collected. Bringing everyone together at this event allows us to discuss what we’ve been seeing and to build upon the collaborative monitoring model we’ve established amongst scientists and citizens.”
Presentations from the conference are currently available on the 3 Rivers QUEST Web site and can be viewed at, http://3riversquest.org/convergence-at-the-confluence/conference-info/.
For more information about 3 Rivers QUEST and to see water quality information from throughout the Upper Ohio River Basin, visit the program’s Web site, www.3RiversQUEST.org.
About the West Virginia Water Research Institute
The West Virginia Water Research Institute has been in existence since 1967 and serves as a statewide vehicle for performing research related to water issues. It is the premier water research center in West Virginia and, within selected fields, an international leader.
About the Colcom Foundation
The primary mission of the Colcom Foundation is to foster a sustainable environment to ensure quality of life for all Americans by addressing major causes and consequences of overpopulation and its adverse effects on natural resources. Regionally, the Foundation supports conservation, environmental projects and cultural assets.
3RQ Convergence at the Confluence Conference – In the News
Scientists: Water in Upper Ohio Basin Remains Safe
Businessjournaldaily.com reported that drinking water in the Upper Ohio River basin is safe to drink, but it remains vital that the monitoring of runoff into the region’s rivers and creeks be continued. That’s the conclusion of water quality experts from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia who spoke Monday at the Convergence at the Confluence, a daylong conference hosted by the Three Rivers QUEST water-quality monitoring program. The event, funded by Colcom Foundation of Pittsburgh, was held at Duquesne University
Official: Dunkard Creek Cooperation Working
Thedpost.com reported that Bi-weekly monitoring of Dunkard Creek by experts and volunteers, combined with industry cooperation, has helped ward off another Dunkard Creek fish kill, water quality advocates from around the region learned Monday, Aug. 11. At Monday’s conference, held at Duquesne University, just a few city blocks from the confluence of the three rivers, members reviewed what they’ve accomplished and looked at what’s ahead.
Experts: Ohio River Basin Drinking Water Safe, but Needs More Monitoring
Timesonline.com reported that drinking water in the Upper Ohio River Basin is safe, but it is still vital that the monitoring of run-off into the region’s rivers and creeks be continued. The Environmental Protection Agency has a limit of 500 mg of TDS per liter of water, said Beth Dakin of Duquesne University’s Center for Environmental Research and Education, who spoke at the event.
What is the Quality of Pennsylvania’s Water? It’s Getting Better
Wesa.fm reported that before the implementation of the Clean Water Act, Pittsburgh’s rivers were so polluted, they barely even had fish, according to Brady Porter, Duquesne University associate professor of biology. Stan Kabala, associate director of CERE, also was interviewed.
Photos from the 3RQ Convergence at the Confluence Conference
*Photo Credit – Lisa Mikolajek Barton, Duquesne University*