Organization’s Call to Action Focuses on Source Water Protection

Feb. 9, 2015
The Source Water Collaborative recommends leveraging new data & tools to update source water assessments & protection plans

In its recent call to action, A Recommitment to Assessing and Protecting Sources of Drinking Water, the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) indicates that changes to water quality and quantity challenge the nation to redouble its efforts to protect its water resources.

SWC, made up of 22 national organizations including the National Ground Water Assn., issued its call to action in late December in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Why a call to action now? As a nation we face a host of water quality and quantity challenges that are both pressing and ongoing. Persistent threats and challenges, and disastrous chemical spills highlight the importance of safe drinking water to public health and local economies,” SWC said in the call to action.

“The public and private costs of inaction can be extensive. Together, we must consider lessons learned over the past decade and apply newly available resources to prioritize threats and protect drinking water sources, both surface and ground water,” the document. “A realistic assessment of recent events demonstrates that additional action by federal, state and local partners can and must be taken to effectively protect drinking water sources.”

SWC’s vision is that “all drinking water sources are adequately protected. As a result, the nation gains profound public health advantages as well as economic benefits.” To accomplish this vision, SWC recommends the following actions:

  • Update/improve source water assessments and protection plans to prioritize risks and actions by leveraging new data and tools;
  • Take priority actions to protect sources of drinking water, working with key partners; and
  • Coordinate, plan and communicate in advance with key “upstream” partners as well as within water utilities to help ensure that, in an event, rapid emergency notification is provided to facilitate activation of mitigation measures.

SWC was formed in 2006 with the goal of combining the strengths and tools of a diverse set of member organizations to act in the present to protect drinking water for future generations.

Among other members of the SWC are the American Water Works Assn., Ground Water Protection Council, the Groundwater Foundation and the Water Systems Council.

Source: National Ground Water Assn.

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