October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity Awareness Month has grown into a collaborative effort between government and industry to enhance cybersecurity awareness, encourage actions by the public to reduce online risk and generated discussion on cyber threats on a national and global scale.
As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month EPA is highlighting three EPA resources to help increase your cyber resilience: Water Sector Cybersecurity Evaluation Program, Water Cybersecurity Assessment Tool, the Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Program, and Other EPA Cyber Resources.
Also, in recognition of the 20th year, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced a new enduring cybersecurity awareness program, Secure Our World. Secure Our World reflects a new enduring message to be integrated across the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) awareness campaigns and programs, and encourages all of us to take action each day to protect ourselves when online or using connected devices. The program promotes behavioral change across the Nation, with a particular focus on how individuals, families and small to medium-sized businesses can Secure Our World by focusing on the four critical actions below. Secure Our World is the theme for this year’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month and will remain the enduring theme for future awareness month campaigns.
Four Easy Ways to Stay Safer Online
- Use Strong Passwords – The use of complex passwords which contain a lowercase letter, an uppercase letter, a number, and a symbol has been shown to increase the length of time it takes to crack a password. In fact, it could take 34,000 years to crack a password that’s at least 12 characters long containing the combination provided above.
- Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – MFA provides an added layer of protection as it is a multi-step process that requires users to enter in more information than just a password.
- Think Before You Click – Phishing scams account for over 20% of all data breaches. Be mindful of any unsolicited calls or emails that ask for personal information and avoid clicking on links or attachments that come from unknown sources.
- Update Your Software – Keeping up with updates, or enabling automatic updates, ensures that your systems have the latest security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities.
Notice – No Wrap The Week of October 9th
In observance of the holiday, ACWA will not publish a Weekly Wrap next week. Look out for our next issue the week of October 16th.
2023-2024 ACWA Annual Membership Survey
This is the ACWA Annual Member Survey which helps us evaluate current services and member satisfaction and assists leadership with planning for the future. This survey is 15 questions long and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. This survey is being sent to all state, interstate, and territorial staff that participate in ACWA activities. Thank you for your assistance and know that we greatly appreciate your feedback.
Meetings and Webinars
ACWA Water Quality Modeling Workshop: October 23-27, Salt Lake City, UT
Registration is closing soon for our upcoming Surface Water Quality Modeling Workshop in Salt Lake City, UT! This workshop will run October 23-27, with an optional pre-conference “Modeling 101” session on October 23.
This workshop will be an in-person event, in partnership with USEPA. This event will take place at the Utah DEQ Offices. This year, we will be offering three tracks: (1) HSPF (2) CE-QUAL-W2 (3) Modeling for Nutrients. We have a great planning team of state and EPA representatives working hard to finalize the agenda. Attached are one-page summaries on some of the topics covered this year.
To register, you will need access to ACWA’s member portal. If you are EPA staff, please reach out Lexy Bailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help getting set up. This workshop has 3 distinct tracks – including two hands-on trainings. Hands on trainings will be offered for HSPF and CE-QUAL-W2.
Space is limited for the HSPF and CE-QUAL-W2 tracks – once you register, you will automatically be placed on the wait list. You will receive a confirmation email at a later date.
If you are a new staff-person, or if you would like a refresher, please indicate that you will be attending the pre-conference “Modeling 101” session, set for the afternoon of October 23.
WaterISAC is hosting its second H2OSecCon – Surging Toward Safety & Security, October 19 – 20!
H2OSecCon is a virtual conference focused on IT and OT cybersecurity, physical security, and operational resilience for the water and wastewater sector. Each day will feature water utility and security experts sharing information, experiences, and best practices across 14 different sessions, two tabletop exercises, and mainstage speakers. Sessions will cover topics including:
- Physical security threats and solutions facing water and wastewater utilities,
- Securing remote access to your OT network,
- Resources for utilities to improve the preparedness of their employees and communities,
- How to limit physical damage of critical OT assets from a cyber incident or accident, and
- Much more!
Director, Jen Easterly and Deputy Director, Nitin Natarajan from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will be on the main stage. Attendees will hear provided remarks from Director Easterly on October 19 and Deputy Director Natarajan will speak to attendees on October 20. Register today to see speakers from AECOM, CISA, DHS, Dragos, EPA, and more.
Are you a utility serving under 10,000 individuals? Complimentary registration is available! Email email@example.com today for more information and a coupon code.
TRC Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms Training
The ITRC Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs) two-part training reviews key information found in the two ITRC HCB Guidance Documents: Strategies for Preventing and Managing Harmful Cyanobacterial Blooms (HCB-1) and the companion document focused on benthic HCBs (HCB-2). For regulators and other government agency staff, these materials present the state of the science on cyanobacteria and approaches to manage and reduce the occurrence of blooms. These trainings will help the audience understand:
- The basic ecology and physiology of planktonic and benthic cyanobacteria, and the harmful effects they have on health, the environment, and local economies
- An overview of cyanotoxin classes and available cyanotoxin thresholds for human health (recreational and drinking water) and domestic animals
- Common approaches to monitoring for cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, and how to build a monitoring program
- The importance of good communication and coordinated response during HCBs, and the elements of a good response plan
- Available options for in-lake management and control of HCBs, including an introduction to possible treatment options for benthic cyanobacteria
- Nutrient management options to reduce the likelihood of HCBs in your water body
HCB-1 Training: Thursday, October 5, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00pm ET.
HCB-2 Training: Thursday, October 12, 2023, 1:00 – 3:00pm ET.
To register for either event or both, please visit https://clu-in.org/conf/itrc/hcb-2/.
Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 1:30-2:30 PM
Join U.S. EPA for its next Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) webinar. This Intro to ECHO webinar will provide an overview about the data in ECHO and guide users through how to use ECHO to answer environmental enforcement and compliance questions. The focus of this webinar is a collection of short, step-by-step demonstrations geared toward new and infrequent users. We will demonstrate the capabilities of the ECHO Facility Search to answer questions such as:
- How do I search for a specific facility?
- How do I search for facilities in my community?
- How do I search for facilities releasing a pollutant?
- How do I find visual depictions of data that track both facility and regulatory agency performance?
Register at https://echo.epa.gov/help/training#upcoming
Lead and Copper Rule Improvements Rulemaking Webinar
EPA released information about an upcoming webinar on preparing communities for public engagement in the upcoming drinking water regulatory process. EPA is hosting a webinar to prepare communities on how to get involved and to provide information to the public on how to participate in the Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) rulemaking process. The public webinar will be held on October 17, 2023 (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Eastern Time).
In the webinar, you will learn about:
• EPA’s timeline and activities associated with the proposed LCRI
• What happens after the LCRI is proposed and how communities can provide their input to EPA
• Where to go for more information
PFAS and Emerging Contaminant Technology Transfer to States and Tribes
October 18, 2023 3-4 pm ET
EPA develops and uses non-targeted analysis (NTA) methods to rapidly characterize a broad range of chemicals of immediate and emerging concern (e.g., PFAS chemicals), real-world mixtures, and substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCB). High-resolution mass spectrometry is the primary NTA tool for identifying previously unknown or understudied chemicals. NTA methods can be applied to any type of sample, including consumer products, environmental matrices, and biological media. This webinar will provide an overview of NTA and how it can be/is being used to help states and tribes identify PFAS and other emerging contaminants.
Colorado Water Quality Standards Positions
Location: Denver, CO
Closing Date: 10/17/2023
Colorado’s Water Quality Standards Unit is looking to fill two positions with talented and experienced staff. These staff will review and develop standards to protect the beneficial uses of water by conducting scientific research and statistical analyses, evaluating regulatory and policy mechanisms, conducting fieldwork, and holistically considering health equity and environmental justice principles. This work will result in recommendations for water quality standards and classifications to be considered by the Water Quality Control Commission. These positions also provide technical assistance and support to other sections of the Water Quality Control Division, develop standards implementation guidance, and assist other Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment programs implementing water quality standards.
View the announcement and apply for these Physical Science Researcher/Scientist II positions here. We are recruiting nationwide for these positions, so if you are looking to relocate to Colorado this could be your chance! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or with any questions.
Director of the Office of Water
Location: Pierre, SD
Closing Date: 10/19/2023
- manage the staff, administration, and work of the three Water Division programs: Drinking Water, Water Quality, and Water Rights;
- directly supervise the three program administrators and indirectly supervise approximately 50 staff members of the programs to ensure compliance with the state and federal statutes and regulations;
- be an effective member and participant in the leadership team of DANR;
- advise the Secretary’s Office in matters of water in South Dakota, EPA Region 8, and other federal agencies;
- advise the secretary’s office on legislative and budget issues;
- develop legislation as necessary to address water issues and participate in lobbying and testifying as necessary to support the department;
- work with the leadership team develop policies and promote a professional work place.
For more information and to apply, click here.
Water Resource Engineer/Scientist
Location: West Trenton, NJ
Closing Date: 10/6/2023 at 4 pm
The WRE/WRS will review projects/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) submissions
for compliance with the DRBC requirements and compatibility with the Comprehensive Plan and will
provide recommendations to the Project Review Manager for approval, disapproval or modification
based on sound engineering/science knowledge and judgment. Duties will also include the preparation
of project summaries for public notice, preparing lists of parties to receive information on projects, using
Commission’s computer facilities to store and retrieve project information and the analysis of projects
and coordination with Commission technical, administrative, and legal staff. The WRE/WRS may also
work on cross branch teams under the direction of supervisors from other sections, as needed, for
discrete projects. The WRE/WRS will also participate in the coordination of revisions to the
Commission’s Water Quality Standards.
Environmental Engineer II
Location: Providence, RI
Closing Date: 10/13/2023
Position is associated with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program in conjunction with the Wastewater Planning and Design Program. Duties include performing technical reviews of complex engineering plans and specifications for wastewater treatment and collection system projects, wastewater facility plans, and environmental assessments. Duties may include conducting project site inspections, report writing and preparing comment and decision letters, determining compliance with federal and state laws and rules, and coordinating with the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and other DEM water-related financial assistance programs including annual reporting, development of the Project Priority List, RI CWSRF Intended Use Plan, and other related tasks. Experience in wastewater/sanitary engineering preferred.
For more information and to apply, visit State of Rhode Island Career Pages.
Total Maximum Daily Load Coordinator
Location: Salt Lake County, UT
Closing Date: 10/29/2023
- Develop, coordinate, lead and write Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Studies, Alternative Restoration Plans or 9-Element Watershed plans to protect and restore water quality specifically for impaired waterbodies.
- Review, analyze, assess, and interpret water quality data (i.e., chemical, physical and biological data) as part of the TMDL, Alternative Restoration Plan or 9-Element Watershed plan process.
- Coordinate and communicate with local, state and federal government agencies, and other stakeholder groups during the development of TMDLs, Alternative Restoration Plans or 9-Element Watershed Plans
- Provide scientific, technical and policy guidance on TMDLs and other related water quality issues.
- Develop project plans for watershed characterization and water quality sampling, as well as data compilation, analysis, and interpretation.
For more information and to apply, visit State of Utah Job Opportunities.
Forestry Policy Lead for the Water Quality Program (Environmental Planner 5)
Location: Lacey, WA
Closing Date: Continuous
In this role, you will be the principal planning and policy consultant to the Water Quality Program Manager on Forestry issues. Ecology is responsible for making sure that state and federal forest programs and the federal forest activities protect Washington’s Waters. These issues are complex and require coordination with executive managers in this agency and other state and federal agencies along with tribes and industry leaders. You will develop Ecology’s Forest policies, work with other agencies to ensure state waters are protected, analyze forest legislation, act as team lead for our regional field staff and support the Director’s Forest Practices Board Member.
For more information and to apply, visit State of Washington Job Opportunities.
Northwest Region Watershed Protection Unit Supervisor (WMS Band 1)
Location: Western Washington, WA
Closing Date: Continuous
In this role you will supervise up to 13 employees who implement the Northwest Region’s municipal stormwater program, nonpoint pollution control activities including forestry, and groundwater protection including oversight of permitted discharges from the sand and gravel industry. The nonpoint program addresses sources of pollution from agriculture and other non-permitted activities. As a motivated manager you will make personnel decisions, manage and coach professional-level staff, and plan work for the unit.
For more information and to apply, visit State of Washington Job Opportunities.
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Taxonomist (Environmental Specialist)
Location: Topeka, KS
Closing Date: 10/18/2023
The core responsibility is to process and identify 150-200 stream macroinvertebrate samples each year, with most taxa (including midges) identified to the genus level. The incumbent will expected to acquire and maintain current SFS certifications for eastern taxa in Groups 1, 2, and 3 (sponsored by the agency) and remain abreast of new taxonomic revisions and resources. They will be responsible for oversight of quality assurance, maintenance of collection permits and laboratory equipment, management of the reference collection, and joint management of the enterprise level taxonomic database. They will serve as a subject matter expert for the agency, working closely with field biologists and other scientists in the group, as well as acting as a liaison with external partners. Depending on aptitudes and interests of the incumbent, other responsibilities and opportunities may be offered, such as stream health assessment for the Integrated Water Quality Report, technical writing, GIS work, statistical analysis, R coding, and/or additional laboratory and field work.
Please submit applications by October 18. To learn more and apply online, visit https://admin.ks.gov/offices/personnel-services/jobs and search for posting number 210647 (position K0242340). Direct any questions to recruiter Ashley Webb at Ashley.Webb@ks.gov.
Stream Ecologist (Environmental Specialist)
Location: Topeka, KS
Closing Date: 10/18/2023
Field work is intensive and is conducted in a team environment; it includes but is not limited to: Collection of water, algae, macroinvertebrate, and sediment samples; fish sampling and identification; physical habitat assessment; sample collection, preparation, and shipping; data collection and management; operation of a small passenger boat; and driving long distances, sometimes with a trailer. Office and laboratory work includes: preparation of site maps and files; communication with landowners; data management; equipment maintenance; supplies procurement.
Please submit applications by October 18. To learn more and apply online, visit https://admin.ks.gov/offices/personnel-services/jobs and search for posting number 210646 (position K0245299). Direct any questions to recruiter Ashley Webb at Ashley.Webb@ks.gov.