EPA releases online tool to help protect source waters

Feb. 23, 2016

Utilities and state drinking water program managers can use the resource with their own state and local data.

WASHINGTON — Feb. 19, 2016 — A new online mapping tool from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intended to help protect drinking water sources across the U.S., according to a press release.

The Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS) provides the public, water system operators, state programs and federal agencies with critical information to help them safeguard sources of drinking water.

As well as helping people learn about their local watershed and understand more about their water supplier, DWMAPS shows users if sources of their drinking water are polluted and if there are possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply. DWMAPS also tells users about ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community.

Utilities and state drinking water program managers can use DWMAPS with their own state and local data. It allows them to identify potential sources of contamination in their locations; find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination; and evaluate accidental spills and releases.

Although the mapping system contains a wide variety of data to help protect drinking water sources, it does not display the locations of public water system intakes.

“A key part of having safe drinking water is protecting the sources — the streams, rivers and lakes where utilities withdraw water,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, announcing the new tool, in the release. “DWMAPS is the latest example of how EPA is using technology and digital tools to better protect public health and the environment.”

You can find the entire release here.