On July 17 – 19, members of the Source Water Collaborative (SWC) attended the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Connecting Land and Water for Healthy Communities Conference in Denver, Colorado. The SWC partnered with Clean Water Action, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to discuss opportunities for expanding source water protection efforts through Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and share ways that Clean Water Act programs can protect sources of drinking water. Clean Water Action and EPA shared information about the SWC resources, including the Clean Water Act Infographic, Collaboratives Near You online map, and the Learning Exchange Directory.
Clean Water Action presented information on opportunities to prevent PFAS contamination using Clean Water Act tools. EPA showed past spending of Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds and Clean Water Act Section 319 grants to further nonpoint source and water infrastructure project dollars to protect sources of drinking water. The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) described drinking water challenges in the state, followed by a summary of what Nebraska is doing to protect their source water, including a case study of how Auburn, NE used a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant to reduce nitrogen loading to a drinking water aquifer. The presentation was followed by a discussion of common source water quality issues among attendees and resources for funding source water protection projects and programs.