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Water Resource Protection Research

Water Resource Protection

Water resources are our public drinking water supply. It is untreated water from:

  • streams,
  • rivers,
  • lakes, or
  • underground aquifers.

While some treatment of source water is necessary, it is less costly and more proactive to ensure this water is protected from contamination. Protecting our water resources before pollution can occur is a common-sense approach to maintaining the water quality and safeguarding public health. Water resource protection is an ongoing process that includes:

  • Assessing the water resource’s vulnerabilities to pollution
  • Monitoring water quality to detect pollution as early as possible
  • Protecting and treating sources
  • Preparing a plan to allow for a  quick response when contamination occurs

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires national, state, and local levels to protect source waters from contamination. EPA research has helped:

  • Define the land area contributing water to each public water system
  • Identify the major potential sources of contamination that could affect the drinking water supply
  • Determine how vulnerable the public water supply is to potential pollution
  • Ensure source water security
  • Collaborate with agencies, private sector and citizen groups on water resource protection activities

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