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What's New with 3RQ? - Virtual Roundtable Recap

Three Rivers QUEST (3RQ) hosted the first of three virtual roundtables on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021. During this session, representatives from the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds shared new progress within their organizations and Lisa Barreiro of 3RQ discussed upgrades to the Watershed Assessment Tool for Education and Research Studies (WATERS) database. 

Click here to view the recording.

Session Highlights:

  • 3RQ has been seeking and expanding partnerships with watershed groups, universities, and collaborative networks. Most notably, 3RQ is working with the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds to help provide watershed groups with proper sampling and resources. Additionally, WVWRI has developed a partnership between ORSANCO, USGS, EPA, WV and PA DEP in order to study PFAS sampling methods.
  • WVWRI also briefly discussed their data displayed in ArcGIS, an online mapping software. Through ArcGIS, data collected through 3RQ can be displayed on maps accessible to anyone. The data is publicly shared, so data shared as a layer can be added to any existing maps on the platform.
  • WATERS is going to receive some large upgrades extending the water quality parameters that it collects and stores. These improvements will add biological parameters, including bacteria and algae, as well as additional chemical parameters on the database. WATERS currently allows for import and export of data, data visualization, and generation of data reports. WVWRI maintains the yearly fees for the service so it is free for anyone to use.
  • The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds (FPW) provides funding to citizen groups and works with federal and state policy issues surrounding water quality and abandoned mine lands. Branden Diehl, Grants and Project Consultant, shared his insights from the new bipartisan infrastructure bill. While the bill will allocate $13 billion for mine reclamation, there are concerns related to its ability to sufficiently fund water quality-focused projects. 3RQ and FPW have developed a survey to assess watershed group needs related to acid mine drainage treatment projects. While it is geared towards watershed groups, all are encouraged to fill out the survey and share it throughout their networks. Branden also shared information about Datashed, a database for AMD treatment projects. While the site is currently limited to Pennsylvania, there are plans to expand to the states and tribes that are included in the infrastructure bill. 

Through this event it is evident that there is much work going on within 3RQ and collaborating organizations to benefit watershed groups across the three rivers! Coming up are two more sessions of the 3RQ roundtable series. Register by clicking here. The next session, on January 6th, will feature water research projects being undertaken by 3RQ university partners at Duquesne University, West Liberty University, and West Virginia University within the three rivers. Additionally, WVWRI is hosting a concurrent WVWRI Virtual Seminar Series, which will feature various water research and environmental remediation projects within the state. 


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Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds