How We’re Keeping Water Professionals Connected During the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need to learn and respond quickly, the North Central Region Water Network’s communication team has been doing just that. 

When the pandemic was in its early stages, we explored what resources Extension specialists in the region were putting out relating to water during this unprecedented time. While there was an amazing amount of materials to support agriculture and producers, the amount of information regarding water resources was limited, even though we knew the available expertise was great. 

So we went to work. 

First, we created a series of blog posts on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting water resources in unexpected ways, leveraging the expertise of land-grant institutions and their partners.

The first post looks at how the public participation process may be out of mind during the pandemic. The second highlights two Purdue researchers who are looking at how water stagnation was affecting water quality during building shutdowns. The final post features a Michigan State University Extension specialist who is helping to inform people on how their septic systems might be affected during the pandemic

In addition, we continue to organize and promote online trainings to keep folks learning and informed while at home. The Network’s Soil Health Nexus team created a Soil Health Digital Cafe series that features the latest research, resources, and news relating to soil health. The team also continues to organize our monthly webinar The Current along with bi-monthly webinars put on by the North Central Climate Collaborative team. 

We invite readers to share with us your ideas or information needs that could 1) inform further blog posts about how the pandemic is affecting water resources (for better or worse) or 2) training opportunities that might benefit professionals addressing water-related issues in these quickly changing times. Please email Grace Hershberg at hershberg@wisc.edu

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