2018 Farm Bill Includes New Drinking Water Provisions in Conservation Title

Farmer_and_tractor_tilling_soilOn December 20, the President signed a $867 billion Farm Bill that includes $4 billion dollars for conservation practices that protect sources of drinking water over the next ten years. A big thank you to AWWA for helping to get these provisions included as follows:

  • An emphasis on source water protection through all Farm Bill conservation programs;
  • 10% of NRCS conservation funding directed toward source water protection, an incredible total of $4 billion over the next 10 years;
  • Authorization for water utilities to work with State technical committees in identifying priority areas in each state; and
  • Additional incentives for farmers who employ practices that benefit source waters.

ASDWA looks forward to working with our members to engage in these efforts with partners that help implement conservation practices in the most susceptible source water protection areas.

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Nominate Your Water Systems by January 15th for the AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award

cup awardPlease consider nominating your water systems for the 2018 AWWA Exemplary Source Water Protection Award. Nominations are due on January 15, 2019 and winners will be announced at the 2019 AWWA Annual Conference & Exposition. This award recognizes up to three water systems every year for their outstanding source water protection programs, with consideration for their size and resources. This year’s award winners were the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority in New Mexico, the Clackamas River Providers in Oregon and the Rock County Rural Water District in Minnesota.

The AWWA Source Water Protection Committee that administers the award program is again this year strongly encouraging nomination submissions for the smallest water systems serving populations of 10,000 or fewer, using either ground water or surface water supply sources. Because many of these systems may not have the resources or ability to complete the application process themselves, the Committee is hopeful that state drinking water programs, AWWA Sections, and State Rural Water Associations will be willing to help.

While the nominations are not due until January 15th, it is helpful to get an early start on the application process. Nominations are judged on how well a water system meets the six components of AWWA’s (G300) Source Water Protection Standard: 1) program vision; 2) source water characterization; 3) source water protection goals; 4) development of an Action Plan; 5) implementation of the Action Plan; and 6) periodic evaluation and revision of the entire program. In addition to how well a source water protection program satisfies each of the six program components for the AWWA Standard, nominees will also be evaluated on the following three criteria:

  • Effectiveness of the program,
  • Innovative approaches, and
  • Difficulties overcome.

For more information about the award, including previous award recipients, eligibility and submission criteria, and the entry form, go to:  www.awwa.org/eswpa.