Now, the tool is available for use by every state in the Nation, according to its developer, Douglas Ryan, a scientist at the USDA Forest Service's PNW Research Station. Recognizing the need for a readily available, single source of information, Ryan led an interagency effort to develop ICWater (pronounced "icy water"), a tool designed to help incident commanders protect drinking water in an emergency. He serves as the effort's overall task manager and is based at the PNW Research Station's Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Olympia, Wash.
In the United States, hundreds of thousands of bodies of surface water--like lakes, rivers, and reservoirs--help supply the American public with its drinking water. If a chemical, radioactive or biological contaminant were accidentally or intentionally introduced into a drinking water source, knowing what threat it posed to the public would be essential for incident commanders who direct first responders to mount an effective emergency response.
"Incident commanders need timely and accurate information to guide their decisions on deploying first responders to best protect the public," said Douglas Ryan, manager of the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Aquatic and Land Interactions Program. "This information often can be drawn from sources that already exist, but they are scattered and usually not quickly available to on-the-scene commanders in emergencies."
ICWater is a computerbased tool th
Contact: Sherri Richardson Dodge
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station