Source Water Protection

Source Water Protection

Access to clean, safe drinking water is the essential ingredient to a healthy and viable community. Severe human health, ecological, and economic consequences follow from losses of current and future drinking water sources—losses that can be prevented. The potential for contamination of drinking water, coupled with the high cost of treating water and locating and developing alternate water sources, makes it imperative that federal, state, and local entities adopt and implement effective strategies for long-term protection of drinking water sources.


Congress and USEPA have taken the first step in developing such strategies by requiring assessments of all public water systems—termed Source Water Assessment and Protection. To be most effective, assessments and strategies must be based on an understanding of the factors that affect water quality and quantity, including how surface water interacts with ground water, how water quality factors into water availability, and how the management of potential water contamination involves everyone.

Why source water protection matters to ground water...

All drinking water sources, both public and private, are vulnerable to contamination from an array of human activities such as septic system discharges, waste-site releases, underground storage system leaks, nonpoint-source pollution, and agricultural chemicals. Without diligent attention to managing these potential sources of contamination, our drinking water will come at a higher cost over time. This cost includes the increasing need for water treatment, monitoring, remediation, finding alternate water supplies, providing bottled water, consultants, staff time, and litigation. Source water protection is simpler, less expensive, and more reliable over the long term.


GWPC's Source Water Webinars


From the Ground Water Report to the Nation

Source Water Protection - Summary SheetFull Chapter