New York Rural Water Association’s FSA-funded Source Water Protection Technical Assistance Program provides technical assistance to rural and small communities with the development and implementation of local source water protection plans. Source water is water from streams, rivers, lakes or underground aquifers that is used to provide public drinking water, as well to supply private wells used for human consumption. New York Rural Water Association (NYRWA) has provided technical assistance on source water protection since 1995. A source water protection planis a local initiative designed to prevent the deterioration of water resources used for drinking water. A source water protection plan involves the following steps: forming a planning team; defining the water supply resources to be protected; identifying potential threats to the quality and quantity of drinking water resources; recommending and implementing measures to reduce threats to drinking water resources; and planning for the future, including water supply emergency events. NYRWA’s Source Water Protection Specialist seeks the guidance and input of local stake holders during the planning process to ensure that the completed source water protection plan reflects the needs of the local community. Individuals on the planning team commonly include local government officials, water suppliers, representatives from various county and regional agencies, and individuals from interested non-governmental organizations.
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