The Who’s Who of Source Water Protection

Interested in protecting our sources of drinking water? You’re not alone. Many organizations, including all the members of the Source Water Collaborative, are working on source water protection. Below is a list of who is doing what, and how to reach them.

Collaborative Member Drinking Water Activities

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association (APA) is a nonprofit public interest and research organization committed to urban, suburban, regional, and rural planning. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, bring together practicing planners, citizens, and elected officials to advance planning needs.

  • Assists in development and planning of land use and water issue projects
American Rivers

Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters, and volunteers. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations.

  • Protects wild rivers
  • Restores damaged rivers
  • Conserves clean water for people and nature
American Water Works Association

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) serves as a resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water. AWWA services include developing and distributing scientific and technical knowledge, providing education and professional development, and communicating information for the water profession to group members.

  • Develops and distributes scientific and technical knowledge
  • Provides education and professional development
  • Communicates information for the water profession to group members
Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) is the nation’s policy-making organization for metropolitan drinking water suppliers. AMWA works with Congress and the federal agencies to ensure safe and cost-effective federal drinking water laws and regulations that protect public health. Programs and services focus in four key areas: representation before congress and in the federal regulatory process, utility management and water system security.

  • Provides programs, publications and services to help water suppliers be more effective and efficient
  • Represents water protection before congress and in the federal regulatory process
Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)

The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) is the professional Association serving state drinking water programs. ASDWA represents Safe Drinking Water Act implementation issues, informs Congress on issues related to drinking water, and disseminates information on federal and state activities through information sharing initiatives including bimonthly newsletters.

  • Represents states on Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) implementation issues
  • Communicates with Congress on key issues
  • Informs states about Federal and state activities
  • Provides technical training opportunities to the states
Association of Clean Water Administrators

A national organization, the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA) is comprised of officials who are responsible for the implementation of surface water protection programs throughout the nation. ACWA serves as a liaison between officials, facilitates communication with the Federal government and promotes public education.

  • Facilitates interaction water quality agencies with Federal agencies, Congress, and the Administration
  • Provides a forum for the exchange of technical and managerial information and innovations
  • Assists in developing water-related polices by providing technical assistance and information
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is the national nonprofit organization representing the state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. ASTHO’s members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy, and to assuring excellence in state-based public health practice.

  • Facilitates communication and collaboration among state health agencies regarding water related issues
  • Tracks and analyze water policy and thereby providing materials and resources in support of public agendas for state health agencies
  • Enables and assists state health agencies with preparing and sustaining enhanced water programs by tracking and highlighting success stories and promising practices
Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund

Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund (CWA/CWF) assists organizations and coalitions campaign for cleaner and safer water, cleaner air, and protection from toxic pollution in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces. CWA/CWF programs build on and complement Clean Water Action initiatives.

  • Develops grassroots environmental campaigns through programs built on a national network of members
Environmental Finance Center Network

The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) Network provides state and local officials and small businesses with advisory services including education, publications and training; technical assistance; and analyses on financing alternatives for environmental facilities and services. EFCs specialize in promoting innovative environmental financing techniques.

  • Provides state and local officials and small businesses with advisory services; education, publications, and training; technical assistance; and analyses on financing alternatives
The Groundwater Foundation

The Groundwater Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses efforts around groundwater education. The foundation implements local and national programs supporting groundwater protection initiatives. Information sharing is achieved through publications, conferences, festivals, and the Groundwater Guardian Network.

  • Focuses on education for action. Activities include publications, conferences, festivals, consultation with other organizations, and Groundwater Guardian network.
Ground Water Protection Council

The Ground Water Protection Council is a national association of state ground water and underground injection control agencies whose mission is to promote the protection and conservation of ground water resources for all beneficial uses, recognizing ground water as a critical component of the ecosystem. The Ground Water Protection Council provides a forum for stakeholder communication and research in order to improve governments’ role in the protection and conservation of ground water. Members include the Source Water Coordinators/Program Managers from each state.

  • Represents State Ground Water and Source Water Programs
  • Communicates State Ground Water and Source Water program needs to federal agencies and others
  • Provides forum for exchange of ideas on source water protection
  • Conducts State Source Water Protection Workshop, Co-sponsored with ASDWA
  • Assists States with methods of tracking local source water protection efforts
  • Addresses issues of both quantity and quality in source water protection
National Association of Conservation Districts

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is the nonprofit organization that represents America’s 3,000 conservation districts and those who serve on their governing boards. Conservation districts are local units of government established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level. Districts work with millions of cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on all private lands and many public lands in the United States.

  • Nationally: Analyze programs and policy issues that have an impact on local districts/communities
  • Nationally: Develop education material for youth, used by educators in a variety of settings (
  • Locally: Conservation districts work with partners on a variety of water issues and projects
  • Locally: Conservation Districts help farmers, ranchers and landowners improve and protect water quality with the proper management of nutrients, reducing stormwater runoff, and providing technical information and assistance.
National Association of Counties

Representing county governments, the National Association of Counties (NACo) provides legislative research, technical and public affairs assistance, as well as enterprise services to its members. NACo acts as a liaison with other levels of the government, and is involved in a number of environmental projects.

  • Provides legislative research, technical and public affairs assistance regarding water use and management to members
National Environmental Services Center

Based at West Virginia University, the National Environmental Services Center (NESC) helps small and rural communities with their drinking water, wastewater, environmental training, solid waste, infrastructure resilience, and utility management needs and to help them find solutions to problems they face. NESC’s staff of environmental specialists, engineers, certified operators, technical writers, editors, and trainers understand the latest technologies, regulations, and industry developments.

  • Offers toll-free technical assistance from a staff of certified operators, engineers, and scientists (1-800-624-8301)
  • Provides free publications (On Tap, a magazine about drinking water; Small Flows, a magazine about wastewater, with a current focus on source water protection; and Pipeline, a newsletter about wastewater topics for the general public)
  • Provides a comprehensive Web site (
  • Provides nearly 1,000 free and low-cost educational products
National Ground Water Association

A nonprofit organization, National Ground Water Association is committed to advancing the expertise of all ground water professionals and furthering ground water awareness and protection through education and outreach.

  • Provides direction to members, government representatives, and the public for sound scientific, economic, and beneficial development, protection, and management of the world’s ground water resources
  • Cultivates ground water awareness
National Rural Water Association

A non-profit federation of State Rural Water Associations, the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) provides support services to rural water and wastewater system members. NRWA services are offered in the form of training programs and onsite assistance in areas including operation, maintenance, finance, and governance.

  • Offers a variety of state specific programs, services, and member benefits
  • Provides training programs and on-site assistance in areas of operation, maintenance, finance, and governance
North American Lake Management Society

The North American Lake Management Society is a non-profit organization focusing on lake management by addressing land use and other watershed issues including land, streams, wetland, and estuaries. NALMS mission is to educate citizens, scientists, and professionals and to ensure the protection of lakes and reservoirs.

  • Develops public support for national, state or provincial, and local programs
  • Expands public awareness of and support for lake ecosystems
  • Pinpoints research needs of ecology and watershed management
River Network

River Network works with local watershed protection groups, state river conservation organizations and other conservation partners to protect and restore rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands, and estuaries. Services include providing information, training, consulting, grants, referrals, and networking opportunities to watershed conservationists.

  • Offers watershed conservationists a wide variety of products, services and support. Products include books and other publications
Rural Community Assistance Partnership

The Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) assists rural Americans to improve the quality of life in their communities. Services are provided by six regional affiliates operating in all 50 states and the territories. Information, training, and technical and financial assistance are provided to small rural communities seeking to build, maintain or expand their water infrastructure systems. Technical assistance providers and trainers operate in the field addressing issues such as community facilities development, administration and financial management, job training and placement, strategic community planning, accessing financial resources, utility operations, source water protection and other rural developmental needs, including affordable housing.

  • Provides comprehensive assistance to small communities on planning, facility development, management, finance, operations and regulatory compliance
  • Conducts training sessions on water utility issues, including pollution prevention and source water protection
  • Publishes various periodicals and educational and training materials for small drinking water systems
Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. Smart Growth America’s coalition members include approximately 80 national, state, regional and local organizations that work to promote stronger, healthier communities.
A complete list is available at

  • Provides technical assistance to communities wishing to employ planning and development strategies that protect natural resources while supporting a thriving economy.
  • Conducts research into state and local practices that protect drinking water sources.
  • Advocates for federal policies that support local efforts to protect sources of drinking water.
  • Works with partners to promote state and local policies that support efforts to protect sources of drinking water.
Soil and Water Conservation Society

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation. The Society and its members have been advancing conservation through advocacy, special projects, a scientific journal, conferences and communications since 1943.

  • Convenes scientists and practitioners to advance the protection of our soil and water resources.
  • Provides a platform for the exchange of science and practice of natural resource protection.
  • Works through chapters and members to address local resource concerns.
  • Provides support and resources to members working in the fields of water, soil and resources conservation.
The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that provides conservation services to national, state, and local agencies and communities. TPL activities include assistance to agencies and communities on conservation finance, land transactions, research, and education.

  • Assists in defining conservation priorities
  • Identifies and raises funding
  • Structures, negotiates and completes land transactions
  • Acquires and shares knowledge of conservation issues
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Farm Service Agency

Established by the federal government, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency centers on protecting “water” recharge areas. USDA-FSA created a planning team of public water utility personnel, representatives from the agricultural community and other interested parties to work together in identifying potential problems and to develop management strategies to reduce the risk of source water contamination.

  • Implements drinking water protection measures
  • Implements the National Water-Quality Assessment Program
U.S. Dept of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) provides America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners financial and technical assistance to voluntarily put conservation on the ground. USDA-NRCS’ network of conservationists help implement science-based conservation practices that benefit both the landowner and the environment. NRCS offers funding and incentives to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources while improving agricultural productivity.

  • Provides technical and planning assistance to farmers implementing conservation practices in critical sources of drinking water.
  • Supports conservation easements in wetlands, agricultural land, grasslands and forests that impact drinking water.
  • Manages funding and technical assistance programs that can be used to protect source water like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Two Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership (managed by NRCS & Forest Service), USDA National Water Quality Initiative, and others.
U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity established in 2006 at the request of the U.S. and Canadian governments, The Endowment works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors towards the goal of healthy, productive working forests for people and the environment.

  • Advances the state of watershed practices and implementation of existing watershed protection plans
  • Leads the Healthy Watersheds Consortium, which includes SWC members EPA and NRCS
  • Provides local grants to implement watershed protection plans and to build capacity for long-term protection
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Established by the federal government, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works to protect human health and the environment. EPA develops and enforces regulations, offers financial assistance, performs environmental research, and sponsors voluntary partnerships and programs.

  • Develops and enforces environmental regulations
  • Offers financial assistance
  • Performs environmental research
  • Sponsors voluntary partnerships and programs
  • Furthers environmental education
  • Publishes information
U.S. Geological Survey

The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

  • USGS has implemented the National Water-Quality Assessment Program where they collect data across the nation and disseminate results of this program
USDA Forest Service

The USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area leads and supports sustainable forest management and use across the landscape to provide benefits for the people of the 20 Northeastern and Midwestern States and the District of Columbia. The Northeastern Area (NA) works with State forestry agencies and many other partners to influence the wise management, protection, and sustainable use of urban and rural natural resources to sustain forests, air and water quality, and people’s relationship with nature.

  • Works in partnership at the local level to protect and enhance watersheds on State and private forest lands
  • Advances watershed science and implements regional projects
  • Coordinates large-scale watershed partnerships and initiatives
  • Forest, Water and People assessments
  • BMP Monitoring Protocol manuals
  • Provides support and oversight of targeted Watershed and Clean Water Action Grants
  • Urban Watershed Forestry manuals’
Water Systems Council

Water Systems Council is the only national, nonprofit organization solely focused on household wells and small water well systems. WSC is committed to ensuring that Americans who get their water from household, private wells and small shared wells have safe, reliable drinking water, and to protecting our Nation’s groundwater resources.

  • Has a wide variety of programs and services including public education, training and technical assistance, policy research, Children’s Water Festivals, the wellcare® hotline, the wellcare® water well owners network, publications and technical manuals
  • Develops and maintains voluntary industry standards for well industry products
  • Works to promote responsible stewardship of water resources
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