The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released DWMAPS – the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters. This robust, online mapping tool provides the public, water system operators, state programs, and federal agencies with critical information to help them safeguard the sources of America’s drinking water.
DWMAPS allows users to learn about their watershed and understand more about their water supplier. DWMAPS also lets users see if sources of their drinking water are polluted and if there are possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply. DWMAPS can even guide users to ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community.
“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. “DWMAPS is the latest example of how EPA is using technology and digital tools to better protect public health and the environment.
Utilities and state drinking water program managers can also 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. DWMAPS also integrates drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the federal, state, and local levels.
DWMAPS can provide users with information to update source water assessments and prioritize source water protection in any location or watershed in the country. Specifically, DWMAPS helps users to:
• Identify potential sources of contamination in locations defined by users;
•Find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination;
• Evaluate accidental spills and releases, identifying where emergency response resources for accidental releases must be readily available; and
• Promote integration of drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the EPA, state, and local levels.
The mapping system will not display the locations of Public Water System facility intakes, but it does contain a wide variety of data useful to the protection of drinking water sources. EPA developed DWMAPS in consultation with EPA regional drinking water programs, state drinking water regulators, and public water systems.