Entries for the 'Source Water Protection' Category


This video from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highlights the City of Fredericktown's efforts to reduce their vulnerability to climate change, particularly drought and its effects on their source water. City officials used EPA's Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) to help identify and evaluate the potential impacts of climate change on their utility and develop adaptive management strategies. 



A healthy environment can make an area a pleasant place to live, visit, and do business. For water utilities, healthy ecosystems are often associated with compliance, whether they contribute to cleaner sourcewater, or indicate a properly adjusted TMDL. However, healthy environments don’t always happen on their own, particularly when humans get involved. If your local government needs help managing environmental issues, LGEAN can be a good place to get started.

Water Environmental Resources
The Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) is intended to provide environmental management, planning, funding, and regulatory information for local government officials, managers, and staff. Water utilities will likely find their water topic areas to be of most interest, with pages for drinking water, groundwater, stormwater, wastewater, watersheds, and wetlands. These topic pages include issue summaries followed by links to resources from the EPA and other federal and non-government programs, as well as links to relevant publications, databases, and financial assistance programs. These resources may not provide detailed information on specific problems a utility is facing, but they can be a great place to begin wrapping your head around an important issue in your community.

Other Environmental Issues
In addition to the water-specific resources, it can be worthwhile to explore the other topic areas on the site. For example, the environmental management systems and smart growth sections can provide good context for community-wide approaches to problems like watershed management and distribution/collection system expansion projects. And the financing section can be a good place to skim for programs related to issues your area is facing.

Stay Up-to-Date
If you find the resources at LGEAN useful, you can also sign up for their email update, which keeps subscribers informed on new funding opportunities, federal policy updates, and upcoming conferences/events, among other topics. (For an example, see the most recent update here.)

If environmental issues are a problem at your utility (and where aren’t they), LGEAN can provide a great starting point for your response. If they have a particularly helpful program we’ve missed here, tell us in the comments!


The most recent state to experience widespread severe drought is California. Water restrictions are going into effect and everyone seems to be having in-depth discussions about the future of water resources in the state. Though California’s drought is particularly severe, a glance at the latest Drought Monitor report shows several areas of the country are feeling a little parched. And even if your region of the country isn’t experiencing a drought right now, it doesn’t hurt to have some plans in place for next time things dry up for a while. One place to start on that project could be the Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s drought resources page.

A Great Starting Point for Drought Contingency Planning
RCAC has collected drought contingency planning resources from a number of states and organizations with previous drought response experience. These resources include Drought Contingency Plan templates from both Texas and IHS, the TCEQ handbook for drought contingency planning, presentation slides from RCAC drought contingency planning training sessions, the Urban Drought Guidebook from California DWR, several resources for calculating irrigation needs for landscape plantings and lawn sprinkler systems, and an Action Plan for Emergency Drought Management co-developed by RCAC and the New Mexico Environment Department Drinking Water Bureau. In addition, there’s a brief summary of a report on climate change and water in the Southwest, for background on the current water situation. Some of these materials should be useful to any utility that wants to be prepared for the next time water resources run low, while others will be most helpful for utilities with no previous plan in place that need one in a hurry.

California Resources Also Available
Since the RCAC page was created in response to California’s current drought crisis, it makes sense that some of the resources would be specific to California. In addition to the general resources mentioned above, RCAC has also collected sample water conservation and water use restriction resources from the Water Resources Control Board, and a spreadsheet of California licensed water haulers. They’re also where we heard about the Water Resources Control Board’s CAA Interim Emergency Drinking Water financial assistance program. This fund is intended to provide interim replacement drinking water for economically disadvantaged communities with contaminated water supplies, but is only available to eligible California utilities. See the link for details on the program.

More Drought Resources
If you want to check out more resources, you can search our documents database by typing the keyword “drought” into the search box. If there’s more drought response or planning resources we should know about, tell us in the comments!


NASA's new SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite will provide worldwide soil moisture readings every 2-3 days. This data will be invaluable to scientists, engineers, and local decision makers alike, improving flood prediction and drought monitoring.

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