water works, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from laszlo-photo’s photostream

The quality of our water has been a big issue in the news and even in local elections lately. An article in The New York Times in February reported that the dangers from hydrofracking were far greater than previously thought and that the wastewater produced from fracking “contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.” They noted that a 2009 E.P.A. study — which had never been made public — warned that the waste produced from drilling the Marcellus Shale “is a threat to drinking water in Pennsylvania.” Pittsburgh City Council had already passed an amendment three months prior to that report which banned gas drilling in Pittsburgh — a first for any city in the state. This Monday, you can attend a discussion of local water issues and public health with environmental and academic leaders. At he meeting, Dr. Patty DeMarco, Director of the Rachel Carson Institute, Chatham University will discuss water issues and choices for the 21st Century. Dr. Charles Christen, Director of Operations for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health will address the public health implications of water and Marcellus Shale development. Dr. Christen worked closely with Dr. Conrad “Dan” Volz who recently resigned as Director of CHEC. This discussion is free and open to the public and those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The event is part of the exhibition Too Shallow for Diving: the 21st Century is Treading Water being held by The American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Guest curated by Carolyn Speranza, the exibit:

[C]omprises painting, sculpture, video, installation, spoken word, and photography. The artists’ work inventively addresses aesthetic issues as well as environmental problems surrounding water, examining global topics including oceans, and the decreasing availability of drinking water on a local and global scale, and local topics including the effects of natural gas drilling on our water supply. The projects explore ways issues surrounding water impact health and public welfare. Able to cross disciplines, propose solutions and pioneer change, ecologically charged artwork is a powerful genre.

The exhibition runs through July 28th. Monday’s event has been organized by participating artists Ann Rosenthal and Steffi Domike. Attendees will also be able to view the exhibition.

WATER’S WAYS: A Presentation & Discussion of Local Water Issues and Public Health
Monday, June 6, 7:00pm
Where: Jewish Community Center, 5748 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh 15217 (Squirrel Hill near Murray Ave)
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114515461964266