New York State has included in its recently approved budget $200,000 in funding for the Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection (LICAP) to bolster its groundbreaking GIS-based water quality mapping and database system known as WaterTraq and fund expanded outreach efforts to the public promoting both WaterTraq and water conservation.
WaterTraq was developed by LICAP to provide the public with a means of checking water quality in their community from their own home computers. Users can look up specific contaminant levels of both raw groundwater and treated groundwater supplied to the public. The program, the first of its kind in New York, also helps public water suppliers track and share with regulators potential threats to groundwater.
"We thank our elected state officials for their vision in providing the funding to ensure this vital tool will continue and expand," said LICAP Chairman Stan Carey. "We’re off to a great start with this technology and this funding will allow us to add new water quality information in the WaterTraq database and increase public awareness of this vital tool as well as the need to conserve our underground water supply."
WaterTraq has already been used widely in classrooms by educators to teach and students to conduct research, and LICAP members believe that the more the public learns about WaterTraq and tracking groundwater threats, the more they will be inclined to take steps to protect our sole source aquifer in their daily lives.
"When people learn about WaterTraq, they tend to use it to educate themselves about groundwater threats and how water suppliers address these threats and supply safe drinking water," said LICAP Vice-Chairman Jeffrey W. Szabo. "And when people educate themselves on these important issues, it bodes well for the long-term protection of our water supply."