| Water utilities, partners unite for Source Water Protection Week
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Water utilities, partners unite for Source Water Protection Week

Water utilities, environmental advocates, elected leaders, and others throughout North America and beyond highlighted the importance of protecting drinking water sources during the first-ever Source Water Protection Week, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2021.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) declared Source Water Protection Week to emphasize that the most efficient way to assure safe and sustainable water supplies is to protect watersheds, reservoirs, rivers, and groundwater from pollution. 

Throughout the week, utilities of all sizes and geographies – from Eugene, Oregon, to San Jose, California, to Cleveland, Ohio, to Kansas City, Missouri, to Asheville, N.C., to Ontario, Canada – posted photos of beautiful source waters using the hashtags #ShowYourSource, #SourceWaterProtectionWeek, and #ProtectTheSource to increase understanding about the relationship between the water we experience and the water we drink. Federal agencies like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency participated, as did environmental and health advocates like Clean Water Action and the Source Water Collaborative.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection celebrated with a tour of a stream management project at Red Falls in the Catskill Mountains, while Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mayor Mike Savage taped a video proclamation formally marking the week and West Virginia issued a statewide proclamation. Water sector organizations such as the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators posted social media messages, and American Water, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater company, issued a press release with source water protection tips.

"I'm very excited to see the participation in the first-ever Source Water Protection Week," said AWWA President Chi Ho Sham said. "We need to protect our source water all the time. We also need to take some time to celebrate what water professionals and their partners have been doing and will be doing to continue and enhance their efforts to continue to protect our drinking water from the source to tap."

More information about source water protection is available on AWWA’s resource page.

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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.