Policy Analysis: Source Water Protection

New data is helping us understand how land use and development choices affect the quality of ground and surface water sources, making it clear that well-intentioned policies can be working at cross-purposes. The technical assistance reports linked to below draw on this new knowledge to suggest opportunities for more effective collaboration between public and private stakeholders and better congruence between various state policies to enhance drinking water source water protection.

This work was conducted under a cooperative agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, and the River Network. For more information, visit the Enabling Source Water Protection website.

Enabling Source Water Protection: State of New Hampshire Action Plan
2009
After a year of research and discovery, a national team of conservation, smart growth and drinking water experts identified ten key action strategies that the State of New Hampshire could take to improve efforts to protect the state’s drinking water supplies. Building upon the state’s current programs and policies, the national partnership focused primarily on how the state could support better land use decision-making at local levels. Strategies include providing local governments with access to critical information and technical assistance, clear direction on regulatory matters, and improving communication channels across watersheds and regions.

Click here to download “Enabling Source Water Protection: State of New Hampshire Action Plan” (PDF).

An Action Plan to Protect Maine’s Drinking Water Sources
2009
For more than a year, a national project team composed of land use, conservation and water quality experts engaged a diverse group of Maine state agencies, public water systems, and others interested in conserving land to protect water resources in a series of workshops that form the foundation of an action plan to provide guidance regarding steps the state can take to align land use and drinking water programs to better protect drinking water sources.

Click here to download “An Action Plan to Protect Maine’s Drinking Water Sources” (PDF).

Building Ohio’s Balanced Growth Initiative: Incentives and State Agency Alignment
2009
From the introduction: Our goal in working with staff of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission and the Ohio Water Resources Council was to develop ideas to improve uptake and effectiveness of the Enabling Source Water Protection program, in order to ensure that the program could deliver on its promise of improved water quality – including a cleaner source of drinking water for millions of people in Ohio and parts of several other states and Canadian provinces.

Click here to download “Building Ohio’s Balanced Growth Initiative: Incentives and State Agency Alignment” (PDF)

An Action Plan to Protect North Carolina’s Drinking Water Sources
2010
The Enabling Source Water Protection Project for North Carolina was initiated with a workshop in August 2009. Robin Smith, Assistant Secretary, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, addressed more than 40 national and state leaders in water protection, land conservation and local planning, pointing out that “North Carolina is expected to grow in population by as much as 30 percent by the year 2030.” She then presented a challenge to the group by stating that both water quantity and quality are “vitally important to the future of the state.”

Click here to download “An Action Plan to Protect North Carolina’s Drinking Water Sources” (PDF)