In a recent American Water Works Association (AWWA) Journal Article entitled, Source Water Protection at the Strategic Level, Tracy Mehan argues that source water protection needs to be implemented at the most strategic levels by deploying other federal laws in service of safe drinking water. Relying on strictly local efforts is necessary but not sufficient or cost-effective. The Clean Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the 2018 Farm Bill, which is up for reauthorization in 2023, are examples of federal laws that have a significant impact on source water protection, both surface water and groundwater.
Tracy Mehan is the Executive Director of Government Affairs at AWWA, one of the founding members of the Source Water Collaborative. AWWA led the successful effort that resulted in the 2018 Farm Bill mandate for 10% of USDA NRCS conservation program dollars to fund source water protection. Tracy Mehan began his career at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, and served as assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Find AWWA’s source water protection information and resources here.