EPA Region 7 Drinking Water Logo
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WHERE DOES MY DRINKING
WATER COME FROM?

The water you get from your faucet can come from two places - from the water in lakes or rivers (surface water), or from water that comes from wells (groundwater). Many people in this area who live in large cities or towns get their water for drinking from lakes and rivers. But, most people in the United States get their drinking water from groundwater.
Graphic showing glass of water held up by people next to a river with a water faucet over the glass

Why is drinking water important?
All plants and animals, including people, have to drink water. If they don't drink enough good, clean water, they will get sick, or can even die. But our water isn't always clean enough. Sometimes it has germs and chemicals in it. So, we have to clean the water up before we drink it so that it doesn't make us sick.

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Graphic Water Cycle Find out about the Water Cycle!

What does EPA do to
protect your drinking water?

The states do much of the work to make sure that your drinking water is safe, but EPA works with them to help out. EPA does other things to protect the water, like helping farmers stop pesticides and fertilizers from getting into the lakes, streams, rivers and groundwater. We help people protect the land around their wells to make sure that nothing happens on the ground that might pollute the groundwater under it that they drink.

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Did You Know....?
  • 97% of the water on earth is in the oceans
  • Only 3% of the water on earth is freshwater
  • About 2.4% of the water on earth is permanently frozen in glaciers and at the polar ice caps
  • About 1/2 of 1 % of the water on earth is groundwater
  • Only about 1/100 of 1% of the water on earth is in the rivers and lakes
  • It takes 39,090 gallons of water to make a new car, including the tires
  • Over 17,000,000 houses use private wells for their drinking water supply
  • A person can live about a month without food, but can live only about 1 week without water


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What Can You Do to Help?

 There are many small things you can do
to protect your drinking water in a big way!

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