Source Water Highlights

One Good Idea Platform and January 14 Webinar to Encourage Farmer Adoption of Conservation Practices

Posted on: January 6, 2022

The One Good Idea new online platform and campaign will host a webinar on Friday, January 14th to share how farmers are learning from their peers about conservation practices that can improve water, soil, land, and and nutrient management.

EPA Publishes CWSRF Guide for Nonpoint Source Funding

Posted on: December 9, 2021

EPA has released its new “CWSRF Best Practices Guide for Financing Nonpoint Source Solutions” to help state Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) programs address nonpoint source (NPS) water quality pollution, that can also protect drinking water sources.

AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award Nominations Due January 15th

Posted on: November 18, 2021

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) issues up to three Exemplary Source Water Protection Awards each year for small and large water systems in different size categories based on population served.

New EPA Source Water Protection Funding Tool

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EPA has released its new Funding Integration Tool for Source Water (FITS) to help states, tribes and territories navigate and leverage funding opportunities for activities that protect sources of drinking water. 

Don’t Forget to Register for the November 17th SWC/Healthy Watersheds Consortium Webinar

Posted on: November 16, 2021

Please join us for the next SWC/HWC webinar entitled, “Building capacity and networks” on Wednesday, November 17th from 3:00 – 4:30 pm (eastern time).

HWC/SWC Accelerating Watershed Protection Webinars

Posted on: October 26, 2021

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program (HWC) and the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) are co-hosting a series of four webinars in November and December 2021 focused on accelerating watershed protection, building capacity, and overcoming limiting factors.

New ASDWA and GWPC Report on State Source Water Protection Program Progress Coordinating with Agriculture and Forestry Partners

Posted on: October 7, 2021

ASDWA and GWPC, the Source Water Collaborative co-chairs, have published a new report and associated fact sheet entitled, “State Source Water Protection (SWP) Programs: A Progress Report on Agriculture and Forestry Coordination Since the Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.”

New EPA Factsheet on VOC Contamination Following a Wildfire

Posted on: September 29, 2021

EPA has created a new factsheet that features practices and lessons-learned from drinking water utilities impacted by wildfires that had elevated levels of several Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), such as benzene, in water mains, service connections, and building fixtures, which complicated and slowed community recovery efforts.

Attend the GWPC Annual Forum and Source Water Protection Workshop Next Week

Posted on: September 21, 2021

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) Annual Forum taking place next week features an in-depth Source Water Protection Workshop on September 27, with presentations from SWC members EPA and NRCS, and state source water programs.

September 13th SWC Webinar: Post-Wildfire Recovery and Drinking Water

Posted on: September 2, 2021

On Monday, September 13th, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) will host its sixth of six webinars in the Forestry Learning Exchange webinar series that highlights the connection between healthy forests and drinking water, and the last of two webinars focused on Wildfire.

Celebrate Source Water Protection Week in September!

Posted on: September 1, 2021

The American Water Works Association (AWWA), a member of the Source Water Collaborative, is launching a new Source Water Protection Week starting this year on September 26 – October 2. AWWA invites water utilities, AWWA sections, states, and other partners to join in on raising awareness about the importance of protecting drinking water sources during […]

EPA Updates Drinking Water Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides and Bans Use of Chlorpyrifos on Food

Posted on: August 19, 2021

EPA has published its Updated 2021 Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides (HHBPs) in drinking water or source water and announced it will ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food.

DWSRF and Capacity Building in Action Webinar Series

Posted on: July 15, 2021

On Wednesday, July 28th at 2-3 pm ET, EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and (DWSRF) and Sustainable Systems Teams are hosting a webinar as part of their series to highlight ways in which DWSRF set asides and infrastructure project assistance can be used to build capacity at drinking water systems.

July 27 SWC Webinar: Wildfire Mitigation through the Rio Grande Water Fund

Posted on: June 29, 2021

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative will host its fifth of six webinars in the Source Water Collaborative Forestry Learning Exchange webinar series.

SWC Webinar on Proposing NRCS NWQI Drinking Water Watersheds

Posted on: June 21, 2021

The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has posted the recording of the June 10 webinar on how to engage with NRCS and other partners to identify watersheds for the FY 2022 National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).

How The River Flows Podcast

Posted on: June 10, 2021

Have you listened in on the podcast How the River Flows?  On this podcast you’ll hear from entrepreneurs and experts who will share their best ideas about conserving local forests while ensuring a lasting, clean supply of drinking water downstream. In each episode, they’ll bring you a new take on how local communities are financing the forest stewardship that is providing our clean water and how landowners can be financially compensated for the tremendous environmental value that their working forests provide to everyone. 

June 10th SWC Webinar: Opportunities for Engagement with NRCS to Identify New NWQI Watersheds

Posted on: May 26, 2021

On Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) will host an informative webinar on how to engage NRCS and other partners to identify watersheds for the FY 2022 National Water Quality Initiative. The goal of the webinar is to inform participants about the current opportunity to identify source water watersheds for this year’s round of NWQI watershed selection, and the importance of initiating or continuing conversations with NRCS now before the deadline on July 9, 2021. 

Don’t Forget to Register for the May 13th Forestry Learning Exchange Webinar

Posted on: May 11, 2021

On Thursday, May 13th from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative will host its fourth Forestry Learning Exchange webinar that will showcase the work of two drinking water utilities using funding to conserve and manage forests to protect their drinking water sources.

Don’t Forget to Register for the April 15th Forestry Learning Exchange Webinar

Posted on: April 13, 2021

On Thursday, April 15th from 3:00 – 4:45 pm (eastern time), the Source Water Collaborative will host its third webinar will highlight the innovative collaboration between regional water utility, state, local, and industry partners in the Catawba-Wateree River Basin to incorporate the values of forested lands for water supply sustainability using a variety of funding sources.

New USGS Study Homes in on Sources and Yields of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

Posted on: March 9, 2021

A new USGS study estimates total nitrogen (N) and total phosphorus (P) yields from catchments throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. An associated online mapping tool can be used by water-quality mangers to identify where the largest sources of nutrients are throughout the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin and to guide actions to reduce nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico.

Register Now for the Second Forestry Learning Exchange Webinar on March 10th

Posted on: March 4, 2021

On Wednesday, March 10th from 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST, the Source Water Collaborative will host its second webinar in its Forestry Learning Exchange webinar series. This webinar entitled, “Benefits of Forests for Drinking Water,” will communicate how trees and forests are a critical component to solving the water-related challenges facing communities, utilities, businesses, and the environment, and that sustainable management is essential for providing a clean and continuous supply of fresh water for humans and the environment.

Register Now for the First Forestry Learning Exchange Webinar on February 17th

Posted on: February 8, 2021

On Wednesday, February 17th from 2:30 – 4:00 pm EST, the Source Water Collaborative will host a new Learning Exchange webinar titled “Source Water Protection Through Forestry Partnerships.”

The Source Water Collaborative Launches New Forestry Learning Exchange

Posted on: January 24, 2021

The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new Learning Exchange— Source Water Protection Through Forestry Partnerships. With the Learning Exchange, the SWC aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts.

NRCS RCPP Alternative Funding for Source Water Protection Expected Early this Year

Posted on: January 3, 2021

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is expected to issue a new round of funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program’s Alternative Funding Arrangements (RCPP AFA) applications in early 2021.

New Opportunity to Apply for NFWF Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program

Posted on: December 10, 2020

Proposals are now being solicited for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program that can be used to fund local water quality, water quality monitoring, and source water protection efforts.

Joyce Foundation RFP: Analysis & Convening: Status of State Groundwater Policy in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Posted on: December 8, 2020

The Joyce Foundation seeks proposals to develop a comprehensive assessment of state and tribal groundwater policies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

WRF Webcast on Applying Asset Management to Natural Assets

Posted on: November 5, 2020

On November 17th, the Water Research Foundation (WRF) is hosting a webcast to present the findings of Asset Management Framework for Forested and Natural Assets (project 4727), which aims to strengthen water utilities’ capacity to account for, invest in, and better manage their natural assets,

Nominations for Exemplary Source Water Protection Award Applications Due by January 15, 2021.

Posted on: November 3, 2020

Know a water utility with robust Source Water Protection Programs?  Maybe your utility has made great strides or has formed new partnerships to protect your sources waters? Please consider nominating them or your water system for member American Water Works Association (AWWA) Exemplary Source Water Protection Award.

AWWA Webinar on Watershed Protection and Military Installations

Posted on: October 15, 2020

On Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (eastern time), AWWA will hold a webinar on Watershed Protection and Military Installations.

USGS Seeks Stakeholder Input on Water Resources Mission Area Web Applications

Posted on: August 27, 2020

USGS is seeking stakeholder input on the use of, and satisfaction with, their water web-based tools and applications through a short survey.  Your input will allow USGS to better understand the value current applications provide and more importantly, help guide the development of future web-based applications.   

USDA Announces RCPP Funding and Webinar for Partnership Projects

Posted on: August 19, 2020

USDA has announced $360 million in funding for the next round of Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) conservation projects. Project applications are now being accepted for locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality (including drinking water sources), combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability.

Member AWWA Recognizes Three Water Systems with 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Awards

Posted on: July 6, 2020

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) 2020 Exemplary Source Water Protection Award recipients demonstrate the highest level of vision, goals, action plan, innovation, implementation and evaluation in the categories of small, medium and large water systems. Recognition was made to three water systems in different size categories located in Nevada, Illinois, and Arkansas.

ASDWA Webinar and New PFAS – Source Water Protection Guide and Toolkit

Posted on: June 15, 2020

ASDWA, a co-chair of the Source Water Collaborative, has published its new PFAS – Source Water Protection Guide and Toolkit and will host a webinar about its launch on June 18th, 2020 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (eastern time).

Don’t Forget to Register for June 4th SWC Webinar

Posted on: June 2, 2020

Don’t forget to register for the Source Water Collaborative webinar this week on “Updates from NRCS and the Northeast: Partnering to Protect Drinking Water.”

SWC Webinar on Updates from NRCS and the Northeast – Partnering to Protect Drinking Water

Posted on: May 12, 2020

On Thursday, June 4th, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (eastern time) the national Source Water Collaborative will host a webinar entitled, “Updates from NRCS and the Northeast: Partnering to Protect Drinking Water.” The webinar will feature presenters from NRCS who will share information about the upcoming bulletin on selecting priority source water protection areas in each state and presenters from AWWA and EPA Region 1 who will highlight their efforts in the Northeast to host “2018 Farm Bill and Source Water Protection” meetings with NRCS, conservation districts, state drinking water programs, and water utilities.

Building Relationships Between Community Organizations and Water Systems – Join the Trust Building Workgroup

Posted on: May 1, 2020

River Network and WaterNow Alliance are teaming up to create a set of “best practices” for relationship building between community groups and water systems to strengthen public investment in environmentally sustainable water infrastructure, and are looking for volunteers to share examples and participate in a Trust Building Workgroup.

Drinking Water Protection Resources for State Collaboratives

Posted on: April 27, 2020

On April 21, the national Source Water Collaborative held a call with representatives of several state source water collaboratives to discuss common challenges and needs for sustaining their state collaboratives, and shared a variety of resources that in addition to states, should be helpful for anyone.

EPA Launches New Source Water Protection Website

Posted on: April 16, 2020

EPA has launched its newly updated Source Water Protection website that is full of resources that detail the basics of source water protection, describe components of a source water protection program, and highlight new opportunities for funding and partnerships.

USGS Water Data System Learning and Engagement Opportunity

Posted on: April 3, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of the Source Water Collaborative’s 29 members, is developing a Next Generation Water Observing System (NGWOS) as a result of substantial advances in water science, together with emerging breakthroughs in technical and computational capabilities.

Texas A&M Forest Service Produces Forest and Drinking Water Videos

Posted on: February 28, 2020

Texas A&M Forest Service, with support from US Forest Service, Southern Group of State Foresters, and Southeastern Partnership for Forests and Water, produced seven videos that demonstrate the important forest and drinking water connection.

Register for Feb. 27th Webinar on Zoning for Source Water Protection

Posted on: February 18, 2020

The National Rural Water Association is offering a webinar on zoning for source water protection – a key opportunity at the local level to consider source water protection needs when planning for community land uses and future growth.

RFP: Land Conservation and Management Activities that Benefit Military Installations and Ranges

Posted on: December 20, 2019

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program may provide up to $15 million in FY20 funding for land conservation or management activities that limit incompatible development in the vicinity of DoD installations and ranges, maintain or improve military installation resilience, or relieve current or anticipated environmental restrictions. Projects that address coastal resilience, wildfire threats and Sentinel Landscapes goals are desired.

Forest Action Plans: Key Opportunity to Advance Forest Management for Water in Your State

Posted on: November 11, 2019

Each state has a Forest Action Plan that assesses all forested lands – public, private, rural, and urban – and includes strategies to conserve, protect, and manage the resource. The Forest Action Plans provide the basis for state priorities for stewardship funding and technical assistance.

Protecting Clean Drinking Water with the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Posted on: October 24, 2019

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm (eastern), member River Network will host a free Source Water Collaborative (SWC) webinar: Protecting Clean Drinking Water with the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The RCPP program represents an important opportunity to establish cross-sector collaborations that support sustainable land use practices and help protect drinking water supplies. Register TODAY!

NRCS Announces $300 Million for RCPP Projects

Posted on: September 9, 2019

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), one of the Source Water Collaboratives 29 members, has announced that up to $300 million is now available for Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) projects for FY 2019.

The Source Water Collaborative Welcomes its 29th Member

Posted on: August 9, 2019

We are pleased to welcome the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) to the Source Water Collaborative. The Endowment is the largest not-for-profit public charity dedicated to keeping working forests working and ensuring their bounty for current and future generations.

The Source Water Collaborative Updates its Source Water Protection Through Conservation Funding Learning Exchange Page

Posted on: July 1, 2019

In 2016, marking its 10th anniversary, the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) launched the Learning Exchange. The Learning Exchange aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts.

NACD Meetings Provide a Great Opportunity to Connect with Agricultural Partners

Posted on: June 25, 2019

The National Association of Conservation District’s (NACD) national and regional meetings are a great opportunity for source water protection stakeholders to make connections with NACD and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners at the national, regional, state, and local levels as they consider opportunities for implementing agricultural conservation and practices to protect drinking water sources.

Register Now for the SWC Webinar: Working with NRCS and Agricultural Partners to Protect Drinking Water Sources

Posted on: June 7, 2019

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm (eastern time) REGISTER HERE This free Source Water Collaborative webinar is intended to encourage and promote partnerships between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), state water programs, water utilities and other stakeholders to take advantage of NRCS opportunities (i.e., new Farm Bill provisions, National […]

Endowment for Forestry and Communities Award Nine Grants to Accelerate Watershed Protection

Posted on: May 20, 2019

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program’s fourth year of awards further accelerates the pace of proactive watershed protection in the U.S., benefiting drinking water supplies, freshwater systems, and floodplains.

The Source Water Collaborative Welcomes our 28th Member

Posted on: May 9, 2019

We are pleased to welcome the Soil and Water Conservation Society to the Source Water Collaborative. The Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 3000 members that serve as advocates for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy.


Posted on: April 26, 2019

Member River Network’s interactive online Drinking Water Guide: A Resource for Advocates launches this month at Supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and developed in partnership with a Great Lakes–based advisory committee, the guide is a first step in galvanizing a national network of local advocates for safe, clean, affordable, and sustainable drinking water.

Join Several Members of the Source Water Collaborative in Cleveland for Members River Network’s River Rally 2019

Posted on: March 4, 2019

River Rally, River Network’s annual conference will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, from June 21–24, 2019. The event will take place along the banks of the Cuyahoga River and mark the last time that river caught fire from unregulated pollution fifty years ago, a pivotal event that sparked the environmental movement that led to the establishment of the Clean Water Act.

Blue Accounting Releases Data Tools Showing Source Water Risks and Protections in Great Lakes Basin

Posted on: February 22, 2019

Blue Accounting’s Source Water Initiative recently launched visual tools that illustrate work to protect source water in the Great Lakes Basin. The visual tools measure progress toward four goals: protecting drinking water from nutrient impacts; ensuring all public water supply systems are guided by up‐to‐date protection strategies; taking action on contaminants of emerging concern; and building binational consensus on strategies for source water protection across the Great Lakes Basin.

NGWA Groundwater Week

Posted on: October 29, 2018

The National Ground Water Association will be hosting its annual “Groundwater Week” from December 3-7, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.  The event brings together all aspects of the groundwater professions to increase professional development, networking, and training opportunities.  

SWC Webinar with TPL on Decision Support Tools for Source Water Protection

Posted on: August 14, 2018

On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (eastern), the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) will host a free webinar with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) entitled, “Multi-Purpose Decision Support Systems for Source Water Protection Strategies.” The purpose of this webinar is to demonstrate the use of decision support tools and multi-purpose landscape analysis systems that can strengthen the ability of water suppliers to develop land protection strategies that address threats to drinking water sources.

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program’s RFP is now available!

Posted on: August 9, 2018

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc (“the Endowment”) has published the 2019 Request for Proposals for the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program is a partnership that includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the […]

American Water Works Association (AWWA) Releases Guide to Assist Water Systems in Exploring USDA Programs to Protect Source Water

Posted on: July 23, 2018

Source Water Collaborative member the American Water Works Association recently released a guide that highlights opportunities for water systems to utilize U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs to protect drinking water sources. Over the past several years, AWWA, the largest association of water professionals in the world, has emphasized the importance of collaboration between the water community […]

SWC Learning Exchange: A Preliminary Look at the National Forests to Faucets Analysis 2.0

Posted on: May 7, 2018

The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is pleased to announce a free webinar on Wednesday, May 9th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm (eastern) entitled, “A Preliminary Look at the National Forests to Faucets Analysis 2.0 (F2F2).” During the webinar, Sally Claggett of the US Forest Service will share how they are updating the original Forests to Faucets analysis to […]

SWC Learning Exchange: Source Water Protection through Conservation Funding

Posted on: January 4, 2018

The Source Water Collaborative is pleased to announce its latest Learning Exchange, Source Water Protection through Conservation Funding. This module features case stories from drinking water industry and conservation leaders who have capitalized on resources provided through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to target source water concerns through […]

SWC hosts 1/11/18 webinar “Conservation Grant Funding & Drinking Water Utilities: Partnering for Success”

Posted on: December 15, 2017

Both the water and agricultural communities can explore new solutions to the pressing issue of nutrient run-off that threatens drinking water supplies throughout the country. Yet one of the biggest challenges to implementing source water protection is identifying and securing funding sources and effective partners. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) […]

10 Years of Collaboration in Action – 2016 Accomplishments Report

Posted on: October 30, 2017

Our vision is simple – all drinking water sources are adequately protected. The National Source Water Collaborative (SWC) started in 2006 with fourteen national organizations, concerned about the implications of shifting landscapes and quickly expanding developments on the safety and sustainability of drinking water supplies. Those 14 members knew that they were faced with a […]

SWC Learning Exchange: Why Everyone Should Care About Nutrient Pollution

Posted on: October 29, 2017

Co-Authored by SWC Members: Jim Taft (ASDWA), Lynn Thorp (Clean Water Action) and Karen Wirth (EPA’s Source Water Protection Team)

This month, the Source Water Collaborative’s Learning Exchange will feature efforts to reduce nutrient pollution in sources of drinking water. An over enrichment of water and air by nitrogen and phosphorous, nutrient pollution has emerged as one of the most widespread, costly, and challenging threats to water quality. Algal blooms and hypoxia, the primary symptoms of nutrient pollution, have understandably garnered considerable attention over the past several years: the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, fed by nutrient and sediment runoff from farms and towns in the Mississippi River watershed, has significantly affected the economic opportunities of Gulf communities that rely on its productivity. This past summer, four counties in southeastern FL declared in “state of emergency” due to widespread algal blooms and sections of Utah Lake were closed to recreation due to snaking plumes of harmful algal blooms. These are just a few examples of the impacts of nutrient pollution.

So why should drinking water professionals and advocates in particular care about nutrient pollution?

Here are three glaring reasons:

1. Nutrient pollution is a direct risk to public health and is a threat to drinking water safety

Nitrogen and phosphorous are natural components of aquatic ecosystems, but significant increases in source water, whether from human or natural sources, can produce a range of public health risks. High levels of nitrates in finished drinking water can cause Methemoglobinemia in children, commonly known as Blue Baby Syndrome. Certain species of blue-green algae (also known as cyanobacteria) blooms produce toxic compounds (cyanotoxins) that, if ingested, can cause serious health problems, ranging from a mild skin rash to liver or kidney damage. In summer 2014, harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie forced Toledo, Ohio to shut its water intakes and issue a “do not drink order” to over 400,000 residents. Among the range of challenges posed to water treatment processes, algal blooms can also increase formation of harmful disinfection byproducts (DBPs). A September 2016 memorandum from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Joel Beauvais to state agency heads called for renewed efforts to reduce nutrient pollution and highlighted public health impacts: Renewed Call to Action to Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Support for Incremental Actions to Protect Water Quality and Public Health

2. Nutrient pollution burdens public water systems and their customers

Addressing the public health threats from nutrients and algal blooms in source water places a technological and cost burden on public water systems and their consumers. This can include additional costs for facilities and equipment, treatment chemicals, monitoring and detection, and devotion of staff time that could be going to other efforts. For example, Des Moines Water Works in Iowa recently invested over $4 million in a nitrate removal facility that requires an additional $7,000 a day to operate.

3. Nutrient pollution can (and should) be controlled at the source

While cost is a major factor in the management and control of nutrient pollution, information suggests that preventing nutrients from entering the system is potentially a more cost-effective strategy for addressing nutrient pollution and its impacts. Nutrient pollution is currently not controlled at sources across the country (either point or nonpoint sources) to the fullest extent possible and source water protection advocates can help by increasing awareness, seeking partnerships, and identifying funding streams. Government at every level as well as those responsible for nutrient pollution all have a role to play in reducing this burden on drinking water sources.

Please visit the Learning Exchange for featured resources and success stories from communities across the country working together to eliminate nutrient pollution in their sources of drinking water. Given the far-reaching impacts of nutrient pollution on public health and water quality, it is critical that we in the source water protection community address this challenge. The Source Water Collaborative has a network of resources that can help foster public engagement, sustain collaboration, and expand meaningful partnerships to help us meet this challenge.

SWC Learning Exchange: Funding Source Water Protection

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Securing clean drinking water is increasingly difficult in the United States. Aging infrastructure, increasing demand, extreme weather fueled by climate change, and rapidly developing landscapes are taxing capacities, driving up cost of water treatment, and posing challenges to the long-term sustainability of our water supply. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) expects the US will require over $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next 25 years to meet anticipated needs, if current funding does not increase. So how do we meet the infrastructure needs to secure our water, given widespread fiscal constraints?

SWC Learning Exchange: Forming and Sustaining Source Water Protection Collaboratives

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This month the Source Water Collaborative Learning Exchange will showcase the work of local, state, and regional source water protection partnerships. These source water collaboratives constitute a diverse set of entities with differing geographic scopes, water and pollution concerns, collaborative goals, and member organizations. All, however, share a common mission of protecting sources of drinking water and the people they serve, and all recognize the immense value of a collaborative approach.

Collaborative Approach Proposed for Reducing Nutrient Pollution in Nation’s Waterways

Posted on: October 24, 2017

On October 3rd, 2017, the US Water Alliance, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) released a paper focusing on a collaborative approach on how to reduce nutrient pollution in our nation’s waterways, titled “Addressing Nutrient Pollution in Our Nation’s Waters: The Role of a Statewide Utility”.   Excess nitrogen and phosphorus […]

Register for 9/26 or 10/11 Webinars on Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program

Posted on: September 19, 2017

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium (HWC), a partnership between the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, has called for 2018 Request for Proposals. The goal of the HWC Grant Program is to “accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds”, with primary […]

North American Lake Management Society Releases New Source Water Protection Policy

Posted on: August 30, 2017

To accompany Lake Appreciation month this past July, Source Water Collaborative member North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) released their position on source water protection (SWP). Founded in 1980, NALMS’s mission is to “to forge partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs for today and tomorrow.” […]

SWC Learning Exchange: Linking Source Water Protection to Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: June 7, 2017

With spills and contamination events making headlines across the country, drinking water utilities face an array of challenges protecting their source waters from man-made and natural disasters. Is your community or utility prepared for a day without water? Strong partnerships and communication networks can help communities prepare and rebound quickly when contamination events occur. To […]

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities Announces 16 Healthy Watershed Grant Recipients

Posted on: April 26, 2017

The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program’s second-year of awards expands the pace of proactive watershed protection in the U.S. through conservation and improved stewardship of hundreds of thousands of acres of lands that provide drinking water, flood risk reduction, and an array of economic and environmental benefits. The sixteen awards total $2.75 million and will benefit organizations and partnerships in 18 states. The Heathy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program was conceived by Source Water Collaborative member the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water (EPA) and launched in late 2015. EPA co-funds the program along with another SWC member organization the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U. S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), which manages the partnership.

“This group of grant recipients reflects the remarkable creativity that local organizations show for protecting their drinking water sources and watersheds,” said Carlton Owen, the Endowment’s President and CEO. “Their efforts are voluntary, rooted in partnerships, and will benefit the economy, culture, and environment of their communities.” The Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program’s goal is to “accelerate and expand the strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds.” EPA and the Endowment each provide $625,000 annually for grants in a program that is planned to run for at least six years. NRCS has provided an additional $1.5 million over two years. In this second year, the program received 74 applications requesting more than $17 million. Grants focused on three categories: 1) short-term funding to leverage larger financing for targeted watershed protection; 2) funds to help build the capacity of local organizations for sustainable, long-term watershed protection; and 3) new techniques or approaches that advance the state of practice for watershed protection and that can be replicated across the country. For more information and to read about the funded projects, visit:

The Nature Conservancy publishes Beyond The Source: The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection

Posted on: March 6, 2017

The lands around our water sources serve as vital water infrastructure for cities around the world. These lands collect, store and filter our water, and when managed well, can provide a number of additional benefits to people and nature. Beyond the Source, a new report from The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Natural Capital Project, Forest Trends, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Latin American Water Funds Partnership, seeks to illustrate how nature-based solutions can be implemented at a scale that will make a visible difference in our collective pursuit to create a sustainable world and improve the lives of billions of people.

Beyond the Source analyzes source watersheds of more than 4,000 of the largest cities around the world, and finds that four out of five cities can reduce sediment and nutrient pollution by a meaningful amount through forest protection, reforestation and improved agricultural practices. These natural infrastructure solutions also provide a number of co-benefits, including improving the health and livelihoods of people living in cities and rural areas, preserving plant and animal biodiversity, trapping and storing carbon dioxide and building more resilient communities in the face of climate change. The research highlights water funds as a successful mechanism for downstream water users to fund upstream land conservation and restoration, securing improved water quality and supplies in return. An analysis of the cost for implementing source water protection activities shows that one in six cities could recoup the costs through savings in water treatment alone. Other cities can place a value on the co-benefits and “stack” the total value to realize a positive return on investment.

The maps and underlying data used in Beyond the Source represent a rich set of resources that lend themselves to further exploration.  The Nature Conservancy has developed an online companion to the report, accessed via, that features an interactive map and enables users to explore the data.

To download the report and executive summary and access videos, infographics, and photo galleries, visit

Source Water Collaborative Announces 27th Member: American Rivers

Posted on: January 5, 2017

We are pleased to welcome American Rivers to the Source Water Collaborative. American Rivers has a long history of work related to our mission of creative collaboration to protect drinking water sources. American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. 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.

American Rivers works with partners including water utilities, private landowners, and government to protect source waters in a variety of ways. Key efforts include creating funding mechanisms, securing local codes and ordinances, establishing conservation easements, improving federal forest management and designating Wild and Scenic rivers.

We look forward to working with American Rivers in the years ahead.

The Source Water Collaborative Marks 10 Years by Launching the Learning Exchange

Posted on: August 3, 2016

Marking its tenth year, the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Learning Exchange—an information sharing platform for people and organizations working to protect sources of drinking water. With the Learning Exchange, the SWC aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts.

Over the next five months (August –December 2016), the Learning Exchange will offer organized events, communications, and resources by theme, beginning with August, Creative Partnerships. This month, source water protection leaders will discuss their experiences forging and maintaining partnerships with nontraditional partners. Visit the SWC’s new Learning Exchange webpage to find tools and testimonials to help you get started finding the right partners.

Learning Exchange resources and events are available to all interested groups, and you are encouraged to participate and contribute in ways that suit you and your organization’s interests. Opportunities will vary each month and may include:

  • Stories of success that showcase projects and partnerships making a difference in communities across the country and how others may duplicate these successes
  • Knowledge sharing events such as webinars, brown bags, and virtual workshops
  • Shareable quotes, graphics, and tips to support your organization’s operations and outreach efforts
  • Technical and educational materials recommended to peers by Collaborative member organizations and Learning Exchange participants
  • Opportunities to converse with peers through online networking forums and social media

The Source Water Collaborative offers a unique vehicle to bring together various perspectives and expertise that organizations may not be able to access on their own. Through the platforms of our national members and network of local collaboratives, we can offer a powerful venue for participants to connect with partners and build collective understanding.

Want to share your story on the Learning Exchange?

Do you have a success story, valuable tip, or technical resource you would like to share? Reach out to with your idea.

We hope you can join us!

SWC Shares 2015 Accomplishments Report

Posted on: June 7, 2016

People need clean drinking water—this simple truth is the inspiration behind all that is done at the Source Water Collaborative. Through the individual and collective efforts of its members and their extensive network of community partners, the Source Water Collaborative is acting to protect sources of drinking water because it is fundamental to the health and well-being of our nation.

The SWC’s first Accomplishments Report showcases how our approach, founded on the notion that coordinated actions among diverse partners is the surest way to increase the chances for success, is creating change in local communities. In this report, we invite you to explore a sampling of the Collaborative’s efforts from the past year and to join us in celebrating 10 years of achievement in source water collaboration. You may also find an introduction to our new website and a summary of the projects taking place in 2016, a few of which are currently underway, such as this Innovation Challenge.

The work the Collaborative and its member organizations do far exceeds the capacity of this report to tell the story. In the words of the Steering Committee co-chairs, “In the following pages, you will find a sampling of our various individual and collaborative efforts. While compiling stories for this report, we were at once impressed by the wide range of projects and partners, and reminded that source water protection indeed takes many forms, is best achieved collaboratively, and, despite the many challenges, is something that anyone can–and should–do. As you read these pages, we hope that you share in our sense of accomplishment. But we also challenge you to give pause and think creatively about what your organization and community can do to advance source water protection.”

We encourage you to visit our About Us page to access member websites where you can explore these initiatives. We hope that you take inspiration from these stories as we have, and find the opportunity to champion clean, safe drinking water in your communities. Source water protection ultimately relies on individual acts of stewardship. Thank you for all that you have already done and will do to protect sources of drinking water.

SWC Launches First Ever Innovation Challenge: Reinforce the Source

Posted on: April 15, 2016

The Source Water Collaborative is excited to announce the “Reinforce the Source” Innovation Challenge. Through this challenge, the SWC is tapping an online community of software developers, code writers, and designers to create a prototype for a user-friendly, online information library open to regulators and the public to share information on contaminants of concern to drinking water. This centralized, open information exchange will combine the resources of many to facilitate and inform quicker development of critical source water protections.

As a nation, we face pressing and persistent water quality and quantity challenges that threaten the safety and sustainability of our water supplies. Incidents such as the spill to Elk River, West Virginia highlight the importance of source water protection to public health and local economies. Despite the potential consequences, there are many known pollutants present in surface waters that serve as sources of drinking water but for which there are no formal protections provided under federal, state, or local laws. It is extremely resource intensive and technically daunting for government agencies to develop regulatory protections, such as water quality criteria or Maximum Contaminant Levels, in a timely manner when acting alone, leaving our drinking water sources exposed to potentially harmful contamination. Now is the time for change.

This spring 2016, solvers are challenged to submit user interface design, information flow and architecture, and coding solutions through a series of challenges held through the Top Coder innovation challenge competition platform. A panel of judges will rate submissions on ease-of-use, technical feasibility, user experience, and design. Winners will receive cash prizes and an opportunity to receive public recognition through the Source Water Collaborative.

Visit the Source Water Collaborative challenge page to review the challenge description, check out prizes, track challenge progress, and access the competition webpage on Top Coder’s challenge platform.

From Source to Tap: New infographic exploring how to use the Clean Water Act to protect sources of drinking water

Posted on: April 5, 2016

The Source Water Collaborative is pleased to announce the release of its latest source water protection outreach tool: Source to Tap. Now available through the Collaborative’s website, Source to Tap invites users to explore an interactive landscape to learn how various Clean Water Act “tools” can be employed to reduce pollution in sources of drinking water. It is designed to enable a wide range of practitioners—from state water quality managers to watershed activists—to engage in the many opportunities to leverage the regulatory and non-regulatory provisions of the Clean Water Act, such as Water Quality Standards, Designated Uses, and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to protect drinking water sources.


Source water protection, by its very nature, must be a collaborative undertaking among various parties having differing roles, levels of authority, access to information, and expertise. It relies on a wide array of stakeholders, perspectives, and information. Source to Tap demonstrates what opportunities for participation exist to contribute local knowledge, data, and important perspectives to inform state clean water and drinking water program managers align their efforts to better target and apply the Clean Water Act to protect source water. The infographic adapts strategies from the popular publication, Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water and Advance Watershed Goals Through the Clean Water Act: A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal and Federal Program Managers, which was developed via a multi-year collaborative effort by state and EPA water quality managers across clean water and safe drinking water programs.


Access Source to Tap from the Source Water Collaborative website “Quick Tools” toolbar or follow this link.

EPA Releases New Online Mapping Program for Source Water Protection Planning

Posted on: February 29, 2016

On February 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water released the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS). This user-friendly online mapping tool provides water system operators, state programs, federal agencies, watershed organizations, and others with critical information for assessing and protecting sources of drinking water in any location or watershed in the country.

DWMAPS helps users identify potential sources of contamination, view information on watershed health and source water pollution, prepare for accidental spills and releases, locate watershed restoration projects and potential partners, and more. While this version is intended for public use and does not display the locations of Public Water System facility intakes, later secure versions will allow state drinking water program managers and water utilities to integrate their own state and local data with DWMAPS.

EPA developed DWMAPS in consultation with EPA regional drinking water programs, state drinking water regulators, public water systems, and Source Water Collaborative member organizations, which also provided feedback to DWMAPS during map beta testing. Visit the SWC’s Map My Drinking Water resource page to access DWMAPS.

Fund your Source Water Protection Project through the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grants Program

Posted on: January 10, 2016

In December 2015, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc (“the Endowment”) published a Request for Proposals for the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, which aims to accelerate the strategic protection of healthy freshwater* across the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided $3.75 million over six years to support the grant program, and the Endowment is matching EPA’s award dollar-for-dollar to fund projects that:

  • Support existing watershed protection or conservation plans, including source water protection plans.
  • Build the sustainable organizational infrastructure, social support, and long-term funding commitments necessary to implement large-scale protection of healthy watersheds; and
  • Implement innovative or catalytic ideas to advance the field of practice for watershed protection efforts, including source water protection.

View the Request for Proposals including eligibility criteria and other information on the Endowment’s Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant program website. Source water protection is a priority area for the Initiative, which offers funding to safeguard healthy sources of drinking water.

“Protecting healthy watersheds should be a top priority for everyone,” said Peter Stangel, the Endowment’s Senior Vice President. “Healthy watersheds provide clean water for drinking, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreational opportunities for people, and are the basis for many rural economies. This program will provide funding to protect and sustain these resources…[and] to enhance collaboration among the many groups that will benefit from protected watersheds, such as drinking water and storm water, wildlife and fisheries, land conservation, and forestry and working lands.”

* Healthy watersheds are those in which the hydrological, biological, and land-based functions of the ecosystem are largely intact. Protection refers to actions that conserve healthy aquatic ecosystems and the supporting natural and managed landscape and watershed processes, such as hydrology, that support them.  Rather than waiting until a watershed is negatively impacted and attempting to restore it to health, the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program seeks to protect and sustain healthy watersheds so that they will continue to provide ecological services such as clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, recreation, and protection from natural hazards.

Funding Available: Apply by 1/19 to Participate in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network

Posted on: December 11, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently announced that it will award up to $2 million in cooperative agreements to support participation in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network (NGWMN) in 2016. 

Jointly administered by USGS and the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information’s (ACWI) Subcommittee on Ground Water (SOGW), the NGWMN is designed as a cooperative groundwater data collection, management, and reporting system that will be based on data from selected wells in existing federal, state, tribal, and local groundwater monitoring networks. The network is envisioned as a long-term collaborative partnership among federal and non-federal data providers that will help address present and future groundwater management questions facing the nation.

Cooperative agreements will provide support for both new and existing data providers in the NGWMN. The USGS will fund new data providers to select and classify sites within existing monitoring programs, to set up web services that will link the data to the NGWMN Portal, and to produce a report describing this process. Existing data providers will receive funds to maintain web services and keep site information current. Information about the cooperative agreements is available on the NGWMN Cooperative Agreements page.

Interested agencies may apply online at GRANTS.GOV under funding opportunity number G16AS00008. Applications will be accepted from November 16, 2015 through January 19, 2016

Webinars were held on December 1st and December 8th to review the application package and answer questions about the funding opportunity. Visit the NGWMN Cooperative Agreement webpage to view presentation slides from the webinars.

Bromide Discharges from Power Plants: a Safe Drinking Water Act/Clean Water Act Integration Story

Posted on: November 20, 2015

A case study of collaboration by Clean Water Action, American Water Works Association (AWWA), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)

In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule to update technology-based limits on steam electric power plant wastewater discharges to our nation’s water. Coal plants in particular are responsible for discharges of metals, nutrients and other contaminants into waters of the United States. Some coal plants discharge significant quantities of bromide, which if discharged near public water system intakes can lead to disinfection byproduct formation during treatment. Even small quantities of bromide in raw water can have significant health impacts (Regli et al. 2015). This is a textbook case of the potential for a CWA program to impact a Safe Drinking Water Act program.

Click here to read the one-page story: Bromide Discharge Story.

11/18 Webinar: Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program – Request for Proposals Now Open!

Posted on: November 16, 2015

On November 3, 2015 the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) released a Request for Proposal for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program, a public-private partnership funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Support is also provided by the Southern Company, Alcoa Foundation, and Bank of America.

Approximately $2.1 million in combined total funding is available to support projects that address water quality issues, including source water pollution, through on-the-ground restoration and ecological improvements, community partnerships, and environmental education, outreach, and training. Special consideration will be made for projects that are located within source water protection areas and/or within Urban Waters Federal Partnership Locations. Funding priority will also be given to eligible projects that benefit underserved communities.

Register for the November 18th webinar to learn more about this exciting opportunity to fund local source water protection projects. For more information on the program go to Proposals are due by February 3, 2016.

To see if your project falls within a watershed critical to source water protection, visit the “Source Water Protection for Urban Waters” online mapping application.

Register for 10/22 Webinar: EPA Urban Waters Small Grants Program Could Fund Your SWP Project

Posted on: October 9, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently requesting proposals for its Urban Waters Small Grants Program. The mission of EPA’s Urban Waters Program is to help local residents and their organizations, particularly those in underserved communities, restore their urban water in ways that also benefit their local communities and promote economic revitalization. For the 2015/2016 grant cycle, the EPA seeks to fund projects that address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, such as protection of drinking water sources. Source water protection projects eligible under the Small Grants program include:

  • Work with city planners and the community to assess sources of pollution and plan actions to protect drinking water
  • Create a community program that increases awareness of the sources and impacts of pollution on sources of drinking water
  • Evaluate current zoning to develop model zoning ordinances for protection of drinking water supplies

State, federal, and local government, nonprofit institutions, Indian Tribes, public and private universities, and interstate agencies are encouraged to apply, though proposed activities must take place entirely within one of the Eligible Geographic Areas. This year, $1.6 million in funding is available and EPA expects to award $40k-$60k per award.

The Urban Waters Small Grant Program offers an excellent opportunity to fund source water protection projects in urban areas. Register online for the Information Session Webinar on October 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM EDT to learn more about the grant program and various tools you can use to incorporate source water protection to enhance your proposal.

Visit the EPA Urban Waters Small Grant Program website for more information about the program and to view the Request for Proposal.

New Report on Investing in Natural Infrastructure for More Resilient Water, Food, and Energy Systems

Posted on: September 9, 2015

IUCN Releases “Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the International Water Association (IWA) with contributions from the World Resources Institute released “Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus Dialogue Synthesis”, a summary report of natural infrastructure solutions at the nexus of water, food, and energy sectors. This report is part of a larger initiative by IUCN and IWA called the “Nexus Dialogue.”

The report specifically highlights the value of investing in natural infrastructure—comprised of natural areas such as wetlands, forests, and intact riparian corridors—to substitute or complement “grey” (built) infrastructure. Natural infrastructure offers a cost-effective, flexible means to achieve necessary improvements to aging water infrastructure while securing additional environmental benefits, such as flood attenuation, water purification and storage, and biodiversity protection.

Despite its cost-effectiveness and other benefits, there is currently huge underinvestment in natural infrastructure. A recent blog post by Todd Gartner and Kara Difrancesco attribute underinvestment to the fact that investors lack the information needed to evaluate and compare natural infrastructure options to traditional engineered techniques. Other roadblocks include the complexity of natural infrastructure projects compared to grey”, longer investment return horizons, and the need for multi-stakeholder involvement.

Read the Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus Dialogue Synthesis report to learn more about how natural infrastructure champions around the world are achieving water protections and resilience while laying the groundwork for more widespread investment in natural capital.

The Value of Collaboration: Piscataqua Region Environmental Planning Assessment

Posted on: July 27, 2015

The Piscataqua River Estuaries Partnership (PREP), a regional source water collaborative operating in the Piscataqua River Basin in New Hampshire and Maine, recently released the Piscataqua Region Environmental Planning Assessment (PREPA). Building on the successes of the first assessment, completed in 2010, which led to targeted and coordinated implementation of the PREP Conservation Management Plan, the 2015 report provides up-to-date analysis of land use regulations and planning practices as they relate to clean water across the 52 municipalities in the Piscataqua Region.

Through an extensive stakeholder survey process, PREP identified three major threats to the Piscataqua watershed: nitrogen loading, impervious cover, and climate change. Explanation of their findings and recommended actions are available on their website and detailed in the full assessment.

All 52 municipalities in the watershed contributed to development of the PREPA report and continue to play critical roles in the protection of source water and water quality in the area. The PREPA report and the Piscataqua River Estuaries Partnership highlight the value of collaboration in facilitating regional coordination, information sharing, and leveraging of resources and expertise across multiple partners.

Looking for a collaborative near you? Want to learn more about how collaboration can help protect your sources of drinking water? Visit our map of local and regional collaboratives and explore the How to Collaborate Toolkit.


Register Now for April 28th CWA-SDWA Toolkit Webinar

Posted on: April 15, 2015

Register now for the second of four webinars on the new resource,“Opportunities to Protect Drinking Water Sources and Advance Watershed Goals through the Clean Water Act (CWA): A Toolkit for State, Interstate, Tribal, and Federal Water Program Managers.” The webinar will be held on April 28th from 12:30-2:00 PM (EST) and will discuss using CWA programs like Water Quality Standards, Monitoring, Assessment, and Impaired Waters Listings to protect drinking water sources. SWC members the Association of State Drinking Water Administers (ASDWA), the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) are jointly hosting this four-part webinar series, which offer an in-depth discussion on how to coordinate CWA and SDWA activities to achieve mutual goals. For more information, including state examples, please refer to the Toolkit above.

Future webinars in 2015 will discuss CWA-SDWA coordination in Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) programs, and Nonpoint Source and CWA 319 Programs.

North Carolina Source Water Collaborative Presents First Annual Source Water Protection Awards

Posted on: April 8, 2015

On March 18, several source water protection projects in North Carolina were selected as winners of the first annual Source Water Protection Awards from the North Carolina Source Water Collaborative. The awards, presented at the Water Resources Research Institute annual conference, recognized programs that demonstrate innovative and collaborative solutions to protect North Carolina’s drinking water sources and their connecting watersheds.

The Durham Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded for its accomplishments through the Upper Sandy Creek Watershed and Stream Restoration Project, a multi-year collaboration aimed at improving water quality, minimizing flood danger, and restoring ecological values to 3600 feet of stream. This project expects to reduce sediment loading in the Jordon Lake Reservoir by 100 tons per year. The Raleigh Public Utilities Department for the City of Raleigh Watershed Protection Program teamed with the Upper Neuse Water Initiative, agencies, and local partners to facilitate land acquisitions and other conservation measures to protect over 18,000 feet of streams impacting critical drinking water reservoirs. To read the article on the award ceremony and to see the full list of award winning projects, click here.

Want to start your own collaborative? Learn more about the North Carolina Source Water Collaborative and find out how to launch your own source water partnerships through the “How to Collaborate” toolkit, developed by the Source Water Collaborative.

Call for Abstracts for NALMS 35th International Symposium

Posted on: February 15, 2015

The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) is hosting their 35th Annual Symposium in Sarasota Spring, NY this November 17-20, 2015. NALMS encourages the submission of paper or posters on topics of broad interest to the lake and reservoir management community (such as harmful algal blooms, stormwater management, water quality, etc.). Abstracts are due by May 22nd. SWC members interested in developing a special session should contact the program committee no later than March 30th. Click here for more information.

SWC Call to Action Announced at 40th Anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act Celebratory Event

Posted on: December 17, 2014

Administrator Gina McCarthy’s remarks from the December 9th Celebratory Event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC mention the SWC and its new Call to Action. “EPA continues to coordinate efforts to protect America’s drinking water at the source and to address new and legacy challenges. We convene the Source Water Collaborative, a partnership of 25 organizations united to protect drinking water sources. (…) That’s why the organizations here are launching a call to action—asking utilities, states, federal agencies, and local governments to step up to protect source water. I encourage all of us to act. Utilities can partner with landowners and businesses, and make sure they have plans in place with emergency responders. Local governments can help with land use planning to protect water where it counts most. States can help update source water assessments and act on them to address the greatest threats to their drinking water. And federal agencies can work better together.”

Administrator McCarthy’s prepared remarks are available here. The final video of the 40th anniversary of the SDWA is now available on the ASDWA 40th anniversary website.

The SWC is encouraging all members to help promote this Call to Action, which is now available on the SWC home page. The SWC’s full promotion of the Call to Action is planned for early 2015. The full promotion will also feature a companion document that includes informational resources and tools for SWC organizations and their members to facilitate the proposed actions.

Due October 6th: Request for Nominations for the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC)

Posted on: August 21, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for a three-year appointment to the NDWAC. The 15-member Council was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to provide practical and independent advice, consultation and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the activities, functions, policies and regulations required by the SDWA. This Federal Register notice solicits nominations to fill six new vacancies from December 2014 through December 2017. Please review the Federal Register notice for details on submissions.


USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Program – Pre-Proposals Due July 14

Posted on: May 29, 2014

On May 27, 2014, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced a unique new conservation initiative that is intended to give “private companies, local communities, and other non-government partners a way to invest in what are essentially clean water start-up operations.” “Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments and others joining with agricultural and conservation organizations and producers to invest money, manpower and materials to their proposed initiatives.” States and water and wastewater utilities are included in the list of eligible applicants. Anticipated first year USDA funding is nearly $400M. Pre-proposals are due July 14. USDA will select applicants to submit final proposals, due September. 26, 2014. See details here.

Note: NRCS is offering question-and-answer sessions on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) both online and in person.

Online Sessions:

  • June 9 (Monday) at 2 p.m. EST; and
  • June 18 (Wednesday) at 11 a.m. EST

Each webinar will last one hour. Click here for log-in instructions for the RCPP webinar.

In-person Session: June 6 (Friday) at 11 a.m. EST. The session will be held in Jamie L. Whitten Building in Room 107-A. If you have questions or to RSVP, contact NRCS.


Forest Service Proposed Groundwater Management Directive: Webinar May 20th and Public Comments Due August 4th

Posted on: May 18, 2014

The Forest Service’s proposed changes to internal Agency directives for Watershed and Air Management will include groundwater resources on National Forest System (NFS) lands as an integral component of watershed management. Key points:


  • Provide for consideration of groundwater resources in agency activities.
  • Encourage source water protection and water conservation.
  • Establish procedures for reviewing new proposals for groundwater withdrawals on NFS land.
  • Require the evaluation of potential impacts from groundwater withdrawals on NFS natural resources.
  • Provide for measurement and reporting to help build our understanding of groundwater resources on NFS land.


  • Affect procedures or impose any new conditions on state-issued water rights.
  • Affect existing or future tribal water rights settlements or water compacts.
  • Impose any new regulations or requirements on locatable, leasable, geothermal, or mineral material operations.
  • Change the way state water quality regulations or tribal water quality standards are promulgated or administered.
  • Give the Forest Service any new authorities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

The Forest Service welcomes public comment within 90 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register (published May 6, 2014). Comments must be received electronically. Electronic comments may be submitted by following the instructions at or via email to

May 20, 2014 Webinar: USDA Forest Service Proposed Groundwater Management Directives

The Forest Service will host a national webinar at 1 p.m. EST May 20 to discuss the components of the proposed policy to manage groundwater resources on the country’s national forests and grasslands. Forest Service leaders and technical specialists will provide an overview on groundwater issues and information on the intent of the agency’s directives.

You can register for the webinar at:

See links below for more details:


Call for Papers for ASDWA’s 2014 Annual Conference – Due June 16th

Posted on: May 6, 2014

SWC members are encouraged to submit an abstract for ASDWA’s 2014 Annual Conference, to be held October 20-23, 2014 in Albuquerque, NM.  Approximately 250 participants are expected to attend.  Presentation Themes may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Source water protection and sustainability of water supplies
  • Climate change, water and energy efficiency, and conservation
  • Clean Water Act/SDWA connections, nutrient pollution, and Harmful Algal Blooms
  • SDWA implementation approaches and strategies including collaborations and partnerships
  • State revolving loan fund tools and techniques/green infrastructure strategies
  • Drinking water security strategies and tools
  • Small systems: TMF, sustainability strategies, technologies, and compliance
  • Workforce, operator certification, and/or technical assistance initiativesData management
  • Emerging drinking water treatment technologies and optimization of current technologies
  • Distribution system issues
  • Emerging contaminants in drinking water, both chemical and microbial
  • Drinking water research
  • Risk assessment, risk communication and consumer outreach
  • Implementation of regulations – challenges and successes

Please note: priority will be given to submissions received from state drinking water program administrators and their staff.  If you would like to make a presentation, please submit a one-page abstract with the proposed presentation title, and the name, title, affiliation, and contact information for the speaker to Deirdre Mason of ASDWA at by June 16, 2014.



Due June 12th: Applications for NIFA Grant Funding for Farmer & Rancher Outreach, Training & Technical Assistance

Posted on: April 11, 2014

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture released the 2014 Request for Applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Applications are due June 12.

Organizations can apply for grants to provide education, training, technical assistance and outreach for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and managers of non-industrial private forest land. Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, and school-based agricultural educational organizations with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach. Approximately $19.2 million is available for 2014 awards.

NIFA is hosting two webinars for interested applicants, on April 30 and May 6 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.


Register for April 3rd ASDWA-GWPC Webinar on Working with Conservation Districts

Posted on: March 24, 2014

ASDWA and GWPC will conduct a webinar to showcase the new Source Water Collaborative Toolkit and share state source water program experiences from Minnesota and Nebraska in developing relationships and working with their conservation district partners. Please encourage your colleagues to participate. This webinar is ideal for state drinking water, ground water, clean water, and agriculture programs, EPA Regions, and other interested stakeholders.

The free webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd 1:00 – 2:30 PM EDT. Find information about the presenters and register for the webinar here.


Register for March 6th Webinar on Grant Opportunity: NRCS Spring 2014 Conservation Partners Program (RFP due 4/17)

Posted on: March 4, 2014

Conservation Partners will fund organizations to partner with NRCS field offices to deliver technical assistance for high priority conservation objectives. The full news release with details on the RFP is available here. A webinar for applicants will be available on March 6, 2014, from 2:30-3:30 PM, EST. An overview of the program priorities, application process and question and answer period will be offered. Please register here.

Conservation Partners is a collaborative effort between USDA’s NRCS, NWFW and other regional/initiative-specific partners. The purpose of the partnership is to provide grants on a competitive basis to increase technical assistance capacity to implement three programs: NRCS’s Landscape Conservation Initiatives, NFWF’s Keystone Initiatives, and the NRCS-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnership – Working Lands for Wildlife.

Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations, farmer and commodity-led organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments (e.g. state agricultural and/or conservation agencies, counties, townships, cities, conservation districts, utility districts, drainage districts, etc.). Individuals, federal government agencies and for-profit entities are NOT eligible for grants under this program.


New NRCS–Forest Service Partnership Includes Source Water Protection Related Projects

Posted on: February 11, 2014

The new NRCS–Forest Service partnership – the Chiefs’ Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership – will invest over $30 million in financial and technical assistance. The 13 projects announced in 12 states focus on wildfire mitigation/risk reduction, wildlife habitat, and protection of water quality/supply. Drinking water source protection is mentioned for 4 states (MN, MT, NH, WVA), but many of the projects may also have source protection benefits. The news release provides more details and is available on the USDA website. The agencies are reviewing additional sites for future collaboration and will continue to capitalize on NRCS and Forest Service overlying priorities and programs.


Register for 2/13 Webinar on USDA – NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants Opportunity (Due 3/7)

Posted on: February 10, 2014

NRCS is offering a funding opportunity to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production. The funding opportunity is now available. The application period will close on March 7, 2014. A webinar for potential applicants will be hosted on Thursday, February 13th at 1 pm EST. Details about this announcement and how to register for the webinar are available at the NRCS website.

SWC Launches Expanded Collaboration Toolkit to Help You Work with Conservation Districts

Posted on: January 21, 2014

The Source Water Collaborative recently announced a new online toolkit to facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture conservation practices, stormwater and forest management.

The toolkit offers effective steps source water protection professionals working at the local or state level can take to build partnerships with conservation district staff. The toolkit is designed for a variety of audiences – from those who have never worked with their conservation district, to those who have attempted but without success, to those who would like to enhance their current efforts. Click here to link to the online toolkit. Email us if you’d like to receive promotional materials (2-page handout and PowerPoint) to help disseminate the toolkit.

USDA/EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading

Posted on: December 3, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an expanded partnership to implement and coordinate policies and programs that encourage water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and economy. The Department and the Agency will identify opportunities to work collaboratively to help improve water quality trading programs across the country. For more details, click here to read the news release.


Source Water Protection Projects May Be Eligible for EPA Urban Waters Small Grants: Proposals Due 12/16

Posted on: November 26, 2013

Through its Urban Waters Small Grants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to award $1.6 million in federal funding to projects that aim to protect and restore urban waters, which may include source water protection efforts. Grants range in value from $40,000 to $60,000 and will be administered to projects taking place in 18 geographic areas corresponding with the Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. Applicants with source water protection projects will need to ensure their efforts meet the basic eligibility requirements of the solicitation. Click here to learn more at EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants webpage.

EPA Invites Nominations to National Drinking Water Advisory Council by December 20

Posted on: November 18, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking qualified candidates to be considered for a three-year appointment to the National Drinking Water Advisory Council through December 15, 2016. The 15-member council advises the EPA Administrator on activities, functions, policies, and regulations required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Nominations should be submitted to EPA’s Roy Simon, Designated Federal Officer for the National Drinking Water Advisory Council, at with the subject line “NDWACResume2013.” Click here for the Federal Register notice.

NGWA Agreement with EPA Provides Assistance to Well Owners

Posted on: October 24, 2013

The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. EPA to provide private well owners with the resources they need to reduce the risks to their drinking water supplies.

This EPA-funded cooperative will open a new hotline, publish a monthly tip sheet (click here to sign up now), and produce webinars, among other training and assistance tools. NGWA will promote this training and technical assistance with a public awareness campaign through its website at

The NGWA toll-free hotline is available now at 855-420-9355 (855-H20-Well). For more information about resources available to well owners, contact NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens at or 614-898-7791, ext. 554.


Pre-Proposals Due June 15th: Water Quality Funding Opportunity from the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters

Posted on: May 31, 2013

The National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Forest Service are seeking demonstration project proposals specifically designed to highlight how flexible funding invested in forestry activities across State and Private Forestry (SPF) programs can make a cost effective difference on-the-ground with regard to water quality. Up to six projects totaling $500,000 may be selected for funding. Submitters of successful pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. See the attached memorandum for full details. Please note: All proposals are to be sent in by your state forestry agency.

Call for Presentations for The Groundwater Foundation’s National Conference Due June 14th

Posted on: May 20, 2013

Abstracts are now being accepted for The Groundwater Foundation’s 2013 National Conference being held October 15-17, 2013 in Howey-in-the-Hills (Orlando), Florida. The abstract submission deadline is June 14th. Presenters will be selected and notified in early July.

Details about the conference are available here. Please consider sharing this information with others who may wish to present or exhibit.

Presentation formats include 25-minute classroom presentations, plenary speakers, field trip presentations, workshops and poster sessions. Presentation topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Community involvement/participation in water issues
  • Climate change and extreme weather’s impacts on groundwater (i.e. drought, floods, etc.
  • Population growth/urban sprawl impact
  • Public education – challenges and solutions
  • Groundwater sustainability strategies (management strategies)
  • Social, economic, and environmental interactions
  • Funding for groundwater sustainability
  • Conjunctive use (engineered solutions, planned or artificial)
  • Challenges/solutions to sustainable groundwater management
  • Emerging issues (i.e. fracking, nanotechnology, flood capture and recharge, energy/water nexus, carbon sequestration, etc.)
  • Wellhead protection’s role in groundwater sustainability
  • Groundwater/surface water interactions
  • Agriculture and water quality

Call for Papers and Exhibitors: ASDWA’s Annual Conference October 28-31, 2013 in Long Beach, CA

Posted on: May 15, 2013

You are invited to join state, Federal, and local water professionals who will gather at ASDWA’s 28th Annual Conference to tackle the many challenges facing the water community. By contributing your knowledge and vision to the conference’s program you can help ASDWA achieve their goal of protecting public health as they face an array of 21st century challenges. ASDWA solicits both oral presentations and exhibitors of products and services that are invaluable in helping us achieve our collective goals. Deadline for abstracts is June 14th and the deadline for exhibitor applications is August 30th. Click here for detailed information.

ASDWA is the professional Association supporting state drinking water programs in their efforts to protect public health and implement the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Their members are the 50 states, territories, the Navajo Nation, and the District of Columbia.

News Article: Nitrates in Des Moines Rivers Hit Record Levels

Posted on: May 14, 2013

Click to download online article: From the Des Moines Register – Online
Des Moines Water Works turned on the world’s largest nitrate-removal facility Friday for the first time since 2007 after levels of health-threatening nitrates hit records in both the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers, two main drinking-water sources.

Bill Stowe, the utility’s general manager, said the process will keep nitrates at safe levels in tap water, but he is concerned about the rising costs and difficulty of treating water as nitrate levels climb.

The $4 million nitrate-removal plant, installed in 1992, costs about $7,000 a day to run. So far, the utility is using four of the eight treatment cells where nitrates are stripped from the water. The Environmental Protection Agency had ordered Des Moines to act to remove nitrates after the contaminant exceeded the federal limit in tap water during the early 1990s.

The predicament shows that voluntary conservation efforts on farms aren’t working and do not bode well for the future of the area’s water supply, Stowe said. He added that nitrates, which also occur naturally, primarily come from crop fertilizer. Better field drainage systems have worsened the situation.

Typically, when nitrates rise in the Raccoon River, the Des Moines River remains well within drinking standards. The utility then dilutes the pollution from the Raccoon water with that drawn from the Des Moines.

This time, they are both at record highs — a troubling oddity, Stowe said.

”We are off our playing field,” he said. “We haven’t seen this before.”

Untreated high levels of nitrates in drinking water have been linked to blue baby syndrome, as well as to various cancers and miscarriages. The federal limit is 10 milligrams per liter nitrate in drinking water; both rivers have posted readings in the range of 20 milligrams per liter.

The Raccoon River hit 24 milligrams per liter this week; the previous record was 22. The Des Moines was just under 18; the record was 14.2.

Stowe said some U.S. Geological Survey gauges couldn’t measure the concentrations because they exceeded the meter’s range.

With decades’ worth of data suggesting nitrates are rising in Midwestern rivers, Stowe hopes the situation doesn’t worsen.

Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey said the fact that Water Works didn’t need the removal system for the past six years shows that nitrates have been at manageable levels. He added that nitrates left over from last year, when a smaller than usual corn crop didn’t use as much nitrogen, and the record April rains could have caused a temporary spike.

Northey said strategy now focuses more on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels than past efforts, which were targeted mostly on soil conservation.

Laurie Johns, spokeswoman for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, said regulations wouldn’t work because farm conditions vary and are best addressed by farmers’ voluntary efforts. No regulation can control record rain, she added.

”With such wild weather swings and 95 percent of Iowa’s land comprised of farmland, there’s not one regulation that would have prevented the current spike in nitrates, short of outlawing crop production in Iowa,” Johns said.

Deborah Neustadt, chairwoman of the Iowa chapter of the Sierra Club, said farmers should be required to have nutrient-management plans featuring specific practices meant to curb runoff. That way, they could be held accountable for pollution from their operations.

“Why does the rate-payer have to pay for actions of farmers?” Neustadt asked.

Susan Heathcote, water program director of the Iowa Environmental Council, took a similar view. “Local pollution-reduction goals are critical to motivating Iowa farmers and landowners to make the significant changes necessary to ensure clean water,” she said.


Act Now: New Funding Opportunity to Encourage Conservation Practices to Protect Drinking Water

Posted on: April 30, 2013

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide $35 million in financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation systems to improve water quality in 165 small watersheds through its 2013 National Water Quality Initiative.

Please share this news with your networks so they can consult with their 319 coordinators, reach out to state conservationists or county NRCS service center, or coordinate with their local conservation districts to act on this immediate opportunity.

Applications for funding consideration during fiscal year 2013 must be received by Friday, July 12, 2013, and eligible projects may work to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and pathogen contributions from agricultural land. Please note that although the deadline mentions July, we have learned that some states seem to have deadlines in May. Drinking water is mentioned in the announcement as follows, “Communities benefit by having clean waterways, safer drinking water and healthy habitat for fish and wildlife.”

A list of the watersheds is available here. Click here to learn more about the NRCS 2013 National Water Quality Initiative announcement.

Register for Today’s Free Watershed Academy Webcast on “Using Social Indicators in Watershed Management Projects”

Posted on:

It’s not too late to register for this free webcast on May 1, 2013, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern time on “Using Social Indicators for Watershed Management Projects.” Working with landowners and managers to find effective and practical solutions to water quality problems is critical to achieving environmental goals. Social indicators provide information about the social context, awareness, attitudes, capacities, constraints, and behaviors in a watershed or project area. Using social indicators can help resource managers and conservation professionals understand target audiences, select effective interventions and evaluate their impacts. At the end of this webcast, participants will understand some basic concepts of behavior change can have the tools to use a framework for using social indicators in nonpoint source management work.

To register, please visit  Webcast materials will be posted in advance.

SWC Welcomes New Members National Association of Conservation Districts and Smart Growth America

Posted on: April 19, 2013

At its April 22nd member meeting, the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) expanded its membership to 25 organizations by welcoming Smart Growth America and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD).

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.

“If we truly want to have a long-term impact on the quality of our water resources nationwide, it is critical that we build strong, diverse partnerships at local, state and federal levels,” said NACD CEO John Larson. “This is why we’re so pleased to be joining efforts with the Source Water Collaborative. We recognize that being part of a larger group that advocates and works to achieve the same overall outcomes is essential in these fiscally challenging times, and we look forward to a strong and productive partnership in the years ahead as we focus together on addressing commonsense and meaningful actions to improve water quality across the landscape.”

Since 2001, Smart Growth America has worked in coalitions to make the case for the environmental, social, and economic benefits of smart growth. Smart growth is very simply defined as rural, urban and suburban places with transportation and housing choices near jobs, shops and schools. The strategies communities use to create these places are ideal tools for identifying and protecting environmentally sensitive areas while promoting healthy economic growth.

“We are working with local governments across the country that are re-examining the real costs and benefits of development. They are motivated to reduce costs and protect their assets, but they still need tools and support. We are eager to ‘jump in,’ so to speak, and work with the Source Water Collaborative to make the case for source protection and to more widely distribute all of our organization’s great resources,” said Geoff Anderson, president of Smart Growth America.

The SWC was originally formed in 2006 with the goal to combine the strengths and tools of a diverse set of member organizations to act now and protect drinking water sources for generations to come. More information about the SWC’s members and resources is available on the SWC website at

EPA’s National Water Program Publishes 2012 Climate Change Progress Report

Posted on: April 1, 2013

The EPA has published its fourth progress report summarizing the major climate change-related accomplishments of its national and regional water programs, entitled “2012 Highlights of Progress: Responses to Climate Change.” The report is organized around five long-term, programmatic vision areas which are part of the National Water Program’s 2012 strategy to manage water resources in light of climate change. Click here to read the full 2012 progress report on EPA’s website.


Utility Training Webinars Available on EPA’s Water Health & Economic Analysis Tool

Posted on: March 13, 2013

Throughout March – May of 2013, EPA will be offering a series of webinars on the updated version of its Water Health & Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT). The tool is designed to assist drinking water utility owners and operators in understanding the potential public health impacts, financial costs, and economic effects of a threat to the local water supply.

Click here to view a calendar of the WHEAT training webinars (“Training Calendar” tab) and to download the software free of charge (“Home” tab).

Source Water Collaborative Announces 2013 Pilot Programs in PA, WI and WY

Posted on: March 7, 2013

As a part of its ongoing commitment to encourage state and local actions to protect sources of drinking water, the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is pleased to announce its support of three new pilot programs including watershed-based Sheridan, Wyoming; countywide efforts in Lancaster County, PA; and state-wide efforts in Wisconsin (with Rock and Sauk Counties).

The selected pilots have a wide variety of partnerships and unique project champions, including drinking water utilities; county planning commission; USDA (NRCS, Forest Service); universities; state departments of environment, health services, and game/fish; state geological surveys; NGOs (Trout Unlimited, Nature Conservancy); associations representing watershed, rural water, livestock, and conservation interests; and EPA Regional Offices. Click here for more details.

Nominations to the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Accepted Through February 20th

Posted on: February 6, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking nominations for members to serve on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, which provides advice and recommendations to the agency on environmental justice issues. EPA expects the committee will have six vacancies—two from academia and one each from grass-roots community organizations, nongovernmental or environmental organizations, state and local agencies, and tribal groups. Council terms last three years, and members serve an average of five to eight hours per month, the agency said. EPA will accept nominations through Feb. 20 here. For additional information, contact the EPA Environmental Justice Office at (202) 564-2515.

AWRA Summer Specialty Conference—Submit Abstracts by Feb 8, 2013

Posted on: January 28, 2013

In anticipation of their upcoming Summer Specialty Conference on June 27 and 28, the American Water Resources Association is accepting oral and poster abstract submissions due February 8, 2013. The conference, which will take place in Hartford, Connecticut, carries the theme “Healthy Forests = Healthy Waters” and will examine the value of forests in managing water resources. Abstracts should address several key themes linking healthy forests and healthy waters, all of which are featured on the website.

Click here to learn more about criteria for abstract submissions and to view other key details about the conference.

EPA Releases Progress Report on Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

Posted on: January 14, 2013

In light of its national study to understand the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, the EPA released a progress report on the effort in December 2012. The report summarizes the status of 18 research projects that are part of the overall study and offers updates on chemicals used during fracturing. The study was initiated at the request of Congress in 2010 and looks at the full lifespan of water in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Click here to read EPA’s hydraulic fracturing progress report in full.


Register Today: Free January 9th Webinar on Collaborating with USDA Programs

Posted on: December 18, 2012

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, from 1:00-2:30pm EST, ASDWA and GWPC will host a webinar on “How State Source Water Programs Can Work with their USDA Partners to Protect Drinking Water Sources.” The webinar should be useful for all state water programs, from those who already know their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist but may be looking for new ideas, to those aiming to build a successful relationship. The webinar agenda will include a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the SWC’s new online Collaboration Toolkit and two state success stories from Maine and Iowa. To register for the webinar, go to:


Register Now for the 12/6 Webinar on New Urban Waters Restoration Grants

Posted on: December 5, 2012

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has issued a request for proposals for its 2013 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants, with applications due February 7, 2013. The grants, which range from $20,000-$50,000, will be awarded to projects that enlist diverse local partnerships in wetland, forest, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration and focus on urban waters and watersheds.

Potential applicants are invited to participate in an informational webinar on Thursday, December 6, from 2:00pm – 3:30pm EST. Click here to register for the webinar and here to learn more about the program or fill out the online application.

Deadline 12/21: Opportunity to Apply for Source Water Collaborative (SWC) Pilot

Posted on: November 26, 2012

The SWC wishes to help promote state and/or local actions by sponsoring three collaborative efforts in 2013 to protect drinking water sources by gaining the support of key agricultural and/or Clean Water Act authorities to implement conservation practices and other effective approaches. Interested parties should submit an Expression of Interest by Noon, 12/21/12. This sponsorship would be a 10-month commitment and would include planning support. Please download this document for more details about the pilot program, including criteria, instructions for submitting your response and an FAQ.

Register Today for 11/28 Watershed Academy Webinar on Water Quality Apps

Posted on: November 20, 2012

To introduce three new water quality apps, EPA’s Watershed Academy will host a free webinar on November 28 from 1pm-3pm. The main app to be highlighted is “How’s My Waterway?,” which provides users with instant information on the condition of lakes, rivers, and streams across the United States. The webcast will also highlight the SwimGuide app, which locates nearby beaches and allows users to report pollution, and the Riverview app, which helps users share river photos and water quality updates. To register for the webinar, visit

EPA’s Clean Water Act 319 Grant Guidelines: Review Requested by December 7

Posted on: November 11, 2012

After releasing revised draft guidelines for its Clean Water Act 319 grant program, EPA is asking states, territories, and other interested parties to submit comments on the document’s major provisions. The guidelines aim to provide a nationally consistent framework supporting the implementation of state and territorial nonpoint source programs with grants available for everything from technical assistance to demonstration projects. Click here to view the full guideline document and submit any comments by December 7th COB to


Register Now for New Date (November 7th) – SWP Webinar on Local Planning Activities

Posted on: October 31, 2012

Register now for the webinar entitled, “Successful state agency efforts to support and coordinate with local planning activities,” that has been rescheduled for Wednesday, November 7th from 1:00 to 3:00pm (eastern). The original October 30 webinar date was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. This webinar is the third in the series of five free webinars from the Enabling Source Water Protection team, led by The Trust for Public Land and the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, with support from the River Network and ASDWA.


National Drinking Water Advisory Council: Request for Nominations Due 11/19/12

Posted on: October 10, 2012

The EPA invites nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for a three-year appointment to the National Drinking Water Advisory Council (Council). The 15 member Council was established by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to provide practical and independent advice, consultation and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the activities, functions, policies, and regulations required by the SDWA. This notice solicits nominations to fill four new vacancies through December 15, 2015. To maintain the representation required by statute, nominees will be selected to represent: State and local agencies (two vacancies) and the general public (two vacancies). Click here to download the Federal Register notice for details.


ASDWA Announces New Webinar Series, “Findings from Enabling Source Water Protection Project”

Posted on: August 20, 2012

Throughout Fall 2012, ASDWA will host a series of five webinars on findings of the Enabling Source Water Protection Project, offering innovative and replicable state agency approaches to protecting drinking water. The project worked with eight state partners over a three-year period to align planning, economic development, regulation, and conservation across political and programmatic boundaries. Visit to view all dates and topics of the series and register for the first webinar, which takes place Wednesday, September 5.

July 27 USGS Congressional Briefing Examines the Nation’s Groundwater Resources

Posted on: July 23, 2012

The United States Geological Survey will be briefing members of Congress and their staff on the importance of groundwater to the nation and future protection plans. The session is part of the USGS Congressional Briefing Series, an effort to increase Congressional awareness of geological science’s relevancy in public policy decision-making. For more information on this USGS Congressional Briefing, please visit


Pre-Proposals Due July 2nd: Financial Assistance Available via New National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Program

Posted on: June 6, 2012

Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities through Environmental Solutions for Communities by supporting projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Among the several priorities listed for proposals, SWC members should note they are seeking proposals that support community-based conservation projects that improve local water quality. Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations; state, tribal, provincial and local governments; and educational institutions working in states and communities where Wells Fargo operates. To be considered for funding, pre-proposals must be submitted online by July 2, 2012. For more information, please visit the NFWF website.

Draft UIC Program Permitting Guidance for Oil and Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Activities Using Diesel Fuels

Posted on: May 15, 2012

EPA has developed draft Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II permitting guidance for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing activities using diesel fuels. This document describes information useful in permitting the underground injection of oil- and gas-related hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels where EPA is the permitting authority. EPA’s goal is to improve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requirements and strengthen environmental protections consistent with existing law. Click here for materials available on EPA’s website. Click here for the May 10th Federal Register Notice, establishing a comment period through July 9.

EPA to Work with Drinking Water Systems to Monitor Unregulated Contaminants

Posted on: May 13, 2012

EPA has published a list of 28 chemicals and two viruses that approximately 6,000 public water systems will monitor from 2013 to 2015 as part of the agency’s unregulated contaminant monitoring program, which collects data for contaminants suspected to be present in drinking water, but that do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

EPA will spend more than $20 million to support the monitoring, the majority of which will be devoted to assist small drinking water systems with conducting the monitoring. Click here for more details.

Register for May 15th Webcast on USDA’s NIFA-CEAP Watershed Synthesis: Lessons Learned

Posted on: May 9, 2012

Join a free Watershed Academy Webcast entitled “USDA’s NIFA-CEAP Watershed Synthesis: Lessons Learned” on May 15 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm Eastern to hear about some important lessons learned from USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP). Webcast highlights will include a study led by North Carolina State University to analyze and synthesize key lessons learned from 13 of these watershed-scale projects on cropland and pastureland, and linkages between USDA’s CEAP project and US EPA’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program.

To register for this webcast, please visit

EPA Celebrates Drinking Water Week

Posted on: May 8, 2012

The week of May 6 – 12 marks the celebration of Drinking Water Week, a time when EPA and its partners celebrate the nation’s vital drinking water resources. EPA has developed a website with more information on what you can do around your home and within your community to protect your drinking water, ways to become involved in matters affecting the quality of your drinking water, and much more. To find out what you can do, go to:

Source Water Protection Lessons for High School Students Now Available

Posted on: May 2, 2012

FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) recently posted 20 source water protection lessons for high school agricultural science students – available here. A product of a USDA-EPA partnership with FFA, the lessons are available online to FFA’s network of over one million high school agriculture science students and their instructors. Content covered includes the water cycle, drinking water basics, the watershed approach, and agricultural conservation practices to protect water quality. Click here for more details.

EPA Releases Draft “National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change”

Posted on: April 4, 2012

EPA’s Draft Strategy describes how EPA’s water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change and provides long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations.

EPA will accept public comments on the draft strategy until May 17, 2012. To read or submit a comment on the Draft Strategy visit: Click here for more details.


Responses Due April 6th: EPA Announces Technical Assistance for Green Infrastructure Projects

Posted on: April 3, 2012

Continuing its partnerships with green infrastructure communities, the EPA is offering technical assistance for green infrastructure projects protecting water quality. The effort is part of the agency’s Green Infrastructure Program that will accept letters of interest until April 6, 2012. The available $950,000 will be distributed among 10-20 projects and will be directed to watersheds and sewersheds with water quality degradation from urban stormwater.

More information about this technical assistance is available at the new EPA Green Infrastructure website.

EPA Unveils New Websites on Nutrient Pollution

Posted on: March 13, 2012

EPA’s new website on nutrient pollution policy and data can help individuals access information on EPA actions to reduce nutrient pollution, state efforts to develop numeric nutrient criteria, and EPA tools, data, research, and reports related to nutrient pollution. Visit this policy and data focused website at Click here for information about another EPA website designed for homeowners, students and educators.


National Rural Water Association Helps You Take Back Your Community From Nitrates

Posted on: March 6, 2012

A February 2012 NRWA Water University webinar titled, “Take Back Your Community From Nitrates—Lessons Learned,” showcases the efforts of a rural Minnesota community in addressing elevated nitrate levels. Led by Sourcewater Protection Specialist Aaron Meyer, the webinar explains how the community partnered with local farmers and tested the effects of fertilizer on groundwater quality and crop yields.

Click here to listen to the full recording of the “Take Back Your Community from Nitrates—Lessons Learned” webinar.

Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative Honored with National Award & Releases Action Plan

Posted on: February 29, 2012

The Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative, supported in part by the national SWC, has been awarded the 2012 U.S. Water Prize by the Clean Water America Alliance for watershed-based approaches that innovate, integrate, and educate toward water sustainability. This inter-state collaborative between Maine and New Hampshire unites local, state and federal partners to protect forests and reduce pollution from existing land uses and anticipated development. For more information about the prize, click here.

To download the Collaborative’s newly released Action Plan, please click here.

LakeLine Magazine Dedicated to Source Water Protection Issues

Posted on: February 23, 2012

SWC Member, the North American Lake Management Society, recently published their Fall 2011 issue of their magazine, LakeLine, which is dedicated entirely to source water protection. Click here to read how this issue shows how lake protection and source water protection overlap.

New USGS Study Follows Phosphorus from Farm to Stream

Posted on: February 6, 2012

A new study published by the U.S. Geological Survey examines the movement of phosphorus in soil and groundwater of farm settings in five states—Washington, California, Nebraska, Indiana, and Maryland. The report assesses the impact of various farming practices on phosphorus movement—information that is useful in creating best practices to limit phosphorus transport from agricultural fields.

To access the full report, click here.

EPA Releases New DVD on Reducing Runoff from Urban Areas

Posted on: January 30, 2012

The EPA’s newest DVD, “Reduce Runoff: Slow it Down, Spread it out, Soak it in!” teaches viewers how to control runoff in urban areas. The DVD was created in partnership with the U.S Botanic Garden and consists of four educational videos that can be used for outreach or to fulfill requirements for EPA’s Stormwater MS4 program. The videos can be viewed online or ordered from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP). Click here for viewing and ordering information and to find out more about the videos.

USDA Economic Research Service Compiles Data on U.S. Fertilizer Use

Posted on: January 25, 2012

Officials at the USDA Economic Research Service have released new data that brings together U.S. fertilizer consumption data from 1950 to 2010. To enhance analytic efforts, the data is organized by plant nutrient, major selected product, and consumption of mixed fertilizers, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients. This information can prove useful in tracking growing nutrient loads and identifying usage trends.

To access the new USDA Economic Research data, click here.

Details Shared from North Carolina State Source Water Collaborative Workshop

Posted on: January 23, 2012

On December 6th, the North Carolina Source Water Protection Program held a one-day workshop to launch a statewide Source Water Collaborative. The state Collaborative is envisioned as an autonomous group that will work together across various programs and policies to strengthen and advance protection of the states’ drinking water sources. Click here for more details.

New Source Water Protection Vision and Roadmap from the Water Research Foundation

Posted on: January 19, 2012

The Water Research Foundation has released two new publications that offer a vision and roadmap that can guide U.S. water utilities and supporting groups with a unified strategy for coherent, consistent, cost-effective, and socially acceptable source water protection programs. Click here for more details and to access these publications.

New Data Added to EPA’s Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool

Posted on: January 18, 2012

EPA has added updated U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) data to the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution data access tool, a tool intended to help states develop effective nitrogen and phosphorus source reduction strategies. Click here to learn more and to access the updated tool online.


January 31st Deadline for FY12 Conservation Innovation Grant Pre-Proposals

Posted on: January 5, 2012

USDA announced that pre-proposals for FY12 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are due by January 31. This year’s CIG projects will focus on nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health and wildlife. For more information on CIG from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, click here.


Register Today for “Using Clean Water Act Funding for Source Water Protection” Webinar on January 19!

Posted on: December 19, 2011

To bring in the new year, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and Ground Water Protection Council will host a webinar linking Clean Water Act funds and source water protection on January 19, 12 PM-1:30 PM EST.

The webinar will consist of three presentations focusing on Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs and ways to coordinate on the state level.

To register for the webinar or learn more, visit today!


Submit Proposals for Urban Waters Small Grants by January 23, 2012!

Posted on: November 30, 2011

In an effort to improve waterways in the nation’s urban areas, the EPA has begun soliciting proposals for its new Urban Waters Small Grants. The Small Grants emerge as the latest work of EPA’s Urban Waters Program and will be awarded to projects across the country that improve water quality and support community revitalization.

To learn more about the grants and submit a proposal, visit


Register Today for New Webinar Series on USGS Nutrient Management Tool!

Posted on: November 29, 2011

On Friday, December 2, 2011, from 2:00-3:00pm EST, the United States Geological Survey will kickoff a host of webinars about its new regional SPARROW models and online decision support tool. The first webinar will provide an overview of the tool’s main uses: prioritizing areas for nutrient reduction, identifying sources that contribute large quantities of nutrients to local waterways, and evaluating nutrient reduction scenarios.

To learn more and register for the December 2 webinar, visit


New Forest Service Maps Show the Trickle Down Effect Between Healthy Forests and Healthy Water

Posted on: November 14, 2011

The U.S. Forest Service recently unveiled its Forests to Faucets project, a series of maps that illustrate the importance of forests in sustaining healthy sources of surface drinking water. The interactive maps use a geographic information system to show the essential role forests play in providing clean drinking water to urban communities.

Click here to learn more about the U.S. Forest Service’s Forests to Faucets Project.


Register Today for Free Webinar Series on EPA Nitrogen and Phosphorus Reduction Tools!

Posted on: November 11, 2011

In light of the increasing problem posed by nitrogen and phosphorus pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its new Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT) and a free demonstrative webinar on November 30, 2011. In addition to NPDAT, the series will feature other useful tools for tracking and reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels.

Source Water Collaborative’s Guest Article in NACD Magazine “The Resource”

Posted on: November 10, 2011

The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) has earned a guest article in the National Association of Conservation Districts’ fall publication of “The Resource.” Co-written by various member groups, the article explains SWC’s mission and the importance of joint efforts by SWC and NACD.

Click here to read the full article in NACD’s “The Resource.”

New USDA Report Shows Cropland Conservation in the Great Lakes

Posted on: October 25, 2011

A new study by the USDA’s Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project, (CEAP), found that farmers in the region have reduced losses of sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous by employing effective conservation techniques.


Source Water Webinar Now Online

Posted on: October 10, 2011

The recent Ground Water Protection Council webinar on Stormwater Management and Source Water Protection is now available online at
Downloadable PDFs and videos of the webinar presentations are also available online.

Report Emphasizes Value of Conservation

Posted on: October 5, 2011

NACD’s “Conservation Benefits: Putting Value Where It Belongs,” which focuses on several ecosystem services, including source water, is now available.

New USGS Water Quality Findings

Posted on: September 28, 2011

New USGS Water Quality Findings: No Consistent Declines in Nitrate Levels in Large Rivers in the Mississippi River Basin. New USGS findings released in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology, accessible at:

SWC-Sponsored Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative Update

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Check out the latest newsletter from this collaborative in New Hampshire and Maine online at

New NAWQA Agricultural Chemicals Team Report Available

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Subsurface transport of orthophosphate in five agricultural watersheds, USA: Journal of Hydrology, in press and available at:

New USGS Study on Trace Elements in U.S. Groundwater

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A new USGS study evaluates the occurrence of 23 trace elements and radon in groundwater samples from over 5,000 wells collected nationwide from 1992-2003. The report presents trace element occurrence, describes factors that influence the spatial distribution of trace elements, and compares concentrations to human-health benchmarks. A news release and the full report can be accessed online at

Friend of Conservation Award

Posted on: September 7, 2011

Know a great supporter of conservation who deserves national recognition? NACD is now taking nominations for awards! This year’s deadline is Sept. 30. Click here for more information.

Atlanta Source Water Roundtable

Posted on: August 25, 2011

GWPC Announces Interregional Source Water Roundtable as part of 2011 Annual Forum on September 28th in Atlanta, GA. The forum will showcase the success of the SWC, regional collaboratives, and state program efforts to foster support for future regional collaborations.

Funding Available

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New Funding Opportunity for Forest and Water Climate Adaptation Planning is Available. Application Deadline: 9/19/11. Six rural communities will be provided $10,000 scholarships. The Model Forest Policy Program is now accepting applications for 2012 Climate Solutions University: Forest and Water Strategies.

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