Feb 09, 2015

Source Water Protection Focus of SWC's Call to Action

The Source Water Collaborative issued a call to action to encourage the U.S. to protect its water resources

Changes to water quality and quantity challenge our nation to redouble its efforts to protect its water resources, states the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) in its recent call to action, "A Recommitment to Assessing and Protecting Sources of Drinking Water."

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 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 stated.

“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 groundwater,” SWC continued. “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 key 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.

Click here to see a full copy of SWC’s call to action.