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NATION'S WATER QUALITY AT CRITICAL JUNCTURE; BROAD-BASED ACTION URGED BY COALITION

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- Solving the nation's water quality problems will require fundamental, broad-based action by all segments of society -- industry, agriculture, consumers and government -- to change the way they live and work, according to a report released today by Water Quality 2000, a unique coalition of more than 80 public and private organizations.
 "These are not problems that industry, or government, or farmers alone can solve. Improving and protecting the water quality of our nation's rivers, lakes and groundwater will require an ongoing commitment by each one of us into the 21st century," said Paul H. Woodruff, president and chief executive officer of Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM) in Exton, Pa., and chairman of the Water Quality 2000 Steering Committee. ERM is a global environmental consulting organization.
 Water Quality 2000 consists of organizations from industry, government, environmental, academic, professional and scientific groups, who are calling for major changes in U.S. water policy. These changes were presented as 85 consensus recommendations for action to improve surface and groundwater quality in the Water Quality 2000 Phase III Report issued at a press briefing today.
 Commenting on the report, Woodruff said: "People expect government or industry to solve the nation's water quality problems. But these are everyone's problems because we all contribute to the degradation of water quality."
 According to Woodruff, the three key action steps toward better water quality are -- empowerment, prevention and watershed management.
 "Empower the American people to adopt a heightened sense of responsibility for protecting water resources through education about how their actions cause pollution, such as excessive use or improper disposal of pesticides, solvents, used motor oil and other common products," said Woodruff.
 "Through prevention, we can manage our affairs -- how we live, farm, produce, consume and transport -- so we generate less pollution such as runoff from agriculture, land development, transportation and forestry. Industry can improve production processes, reformulate products and reduce packaging. Consumers can help by recycling materials and by conserving water and energy," added Woodruff.
 "However, society's inefficiencies will always generate some wastes which must be managed -- and can be managed better on a watershed basis," Woodruff remarked.
 "The watershed approach is a major strategy that can move us forward as a nation because it recognizes that nature does not understand political boundaries," said Woodruff.
 A natural watershed is an area in which water drains to a particular river or water body.
 Water Quality 2000 is calling for Congress to create a new national program of watershed planning and management, including the establishment of regional planning and management organizations for all 21 of the major river watersheds in the United States.
 Woodruff commented, "In the next phase, Water Quality 2000 will promote implementation of the 85 specific recommendations that have been developed through a consensus-building process. By using the consensus process in a watershed framework, we expect to bring together parties with divergent views, but with an interest in protecting water resources and quality," he remarked.
 ~delval~
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Steve Voci, 215-422-8247, or Lisa Lazorko, 215-422-8245, both of Weightman Public Relations, for ERM~


CO: Water Quality 2000; Environmental Resources Management, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MK-LJ -- PH005 -- 2221 11~18~92 09:58 EST
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Date:Nov 18, 1992
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