Protecting Clean Water

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From severe droughts to crumbling infrastructure to polluted drinking water in communities across the country, we are facing enormous challenges in protecting and conserving clean water.

In response, President Obama has taken critical steps to safeguard our drinking water and create more sustainable systems for the future. Most importantly, the Clean Water Rule, finalized in May 2015, protects the drinking water of 117 million people–or one in three people in the United States. The rule restores Clean Water Act safeguards to small streams, wetlands, and other important water bodies that impact the health of downstream waters and will help protect the waterways that our children and grandchildren drink, swim, and play in.

Key highlights:

  • In 2011, President Obama released a national Clean Water Framework, recognizing the importance of healthy watersheds and clean water to our families, communities, and economy, and outlining a commitment to reducing pollutants, restoring our iconic water bodies, promoting local partnerships and efficiency efforts, and protecting our water resources.
  • At the 2016 White House Water Summit, President Obama’s administration announced billions of dollars in private and federal investments in new science, technology and research to improve long-term drought resiliency and water sustainability as climate change threatens to drastically alter our water supply.
  • The Obama administration released the Stream Protection Rule in December 2016 to protect streams, fish, wildlife, and the environment from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations.
  • President Obama’s EPA released a national Drinking Water Action Plan, designed to be a national call to action and a roadmap for future actions necessary by all levels of government to ensure every community has access to clean, safe drinking water.
Source: flickr/whitehouse
Source: flickr/whitehouse