InfraGard National Members Alliance (INMA) and Nova Biologicals, Inc., one of the testing facilities to ensure the safety of the nation's drinking water supply, announced that drinking water security will be a featured topic at the upcoming InfraGard 2005 National Conference. The conference, sponsored by the INMA and FBI, will be held on August 9 through 11 in Washington D.C. There also will be tracks and technical sessions dedicated to the following topics: maritime and port vulnerabilities and security; computer forensics; cyber security; first responders; financial institution security; regulatory compliance; and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Dr. Paul Pearce, Nova Biologicals' president has been selected to chair the Drinking Water Security Track at the conference. Speakers for the Drinking Water Security Track, which Pearce has entitled "Taking Aim at Our Nation's Drinking Water," will include experts from the Biological and Chemical Countermeasures Department of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Water Security Division of the Office of Emergency Response U.S. EPA Headquarters and the U.S. Air Force.
"As security tightens around airports and other facilities, terrorists are focusing their efforts on targets that have relaxed security and easy access, and are critical to our nation's well-being," said Pearce. "When struck, these 'soft targets', including our drinking water supply, will create fear and paralyze large groups of people."
Drinking water is the ultimate soft target. A necessity of life, drinking water security is a critical and emotionally charged component of our nation's infrastructure. At a minimum, consciously-contaminated drinking water will cause the economy to stall, stop business activities, transportation, close schools and churches, interrupt governmental affairs, destroy the public's trust in their public officials and negatively impact source water supplies (aquifers, reservoirs, lakes, and rivers). The aftermath of a single event is expected to cost billions of dollars.
"The Drinking Water Security Track at the InfraGard 2005 National Conference promises to provide compelling presentations from some of the Nation's premier experts on the topic," said Freeman Mendell, conference chairman for the InfraGard 2005 National Conference. "Additionally, the overall program of the track will provide attendees with a better understanding of the positive impact they can have on protecting our nation's drinking water."
The goals of the Drinking Water Security Track are to:
-Provide an overview and rationale for implementation of drinking water security measures
-Outline management and operational considerations for enhancing physical security
-Review design considerations for developing physical security
-Present guidelines for selecting optimal physical security equipment
-Describe cyber security management, operations, and design considerations
-Enhance emergency response planning capabilities
-Present a systematic approach to a fully integrated plan for drinking water security
"Drinking water security and protection is a prudent and realistic goal," added Pearce. "We are aware of drinking water's problems, and therefore at the InfraGard 2005 National Conference we will discuss plans to implement safe, cost-effective systems to monitor, detect and prevent nuclear, chemical and biological contamination, and disruption of our drinking water supply."