Foundation hopes to encourage stakeholders to develop a strategy
The Water Research Foundation (WaterRF) has just completed a new study that will help drinking water utilities and other stakeholders develop a strategy to protect the vital sources of our drinking water. The study is titled "Source Water Protection Vision and Roadmap".
To ensure that water utilities and every public community water supply will be protected by an active source water protection program, a roadmap has been assembled calling for action in four areas:
· Raise Awareness: There is a need to raise awareness of the importance and value of source water protection by utilities, consumers, stakeholders, and state and federal regulators;
· Enhance Coordination: Programs, efforts and regulations affecting source water protection for drinking water supplies can be conflicting, redundant or lacking focus. There is a need for enhanced coordination;
· Provide support: Many water utilities have not proceeded with developing source water protection programs due to a lack of confidence with where or how to begin and also insufficient funding. Experienced water industry peers, through mentorship programs and state and federal funding agencies, need to provide support; and
· Increase Recognition: Successful efforts being made to protect sources of drinking water should be acknowledged more publicly and praised more frequently. There needs to be increased recognition by the public and drinking water community and by state and federal regulators.
An annotated bibliography of source water protection information, comprehensive case studies and other background details are provided in the companion document. To help advance general understanding of the challenges associated with source water management and the importance of implementing proactive management strategies, the foundation is making both reports available to the public.
“As the U.S.’s population continues to grow and demands for safe, clean and affordable drinking water correspondingly increase, it is imperative that drinking water utilities and other interested parties have a solid, long-range plan in place to help them manage this increasingly scarce natural resource,” said Rob Renner, executive director of WaterRF.