Our Water is Connected and Small Streams and Wetlands are Critical to Drinking Water

Friday, January 16, 2015

Clean Water Action welcomes publication of EPA's long awaited final science report that shows small streams and wetlands can impact water quality  downstream.

Washington - Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, an extensive, peer reviewed summary of the latest science on the vital importance of small streams and wetlands to downstream water quality,  including drinking water  sources. The findings in the report will guide the final Clean Water Rule currently being developed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.  These agencies are working to finalize a rule this spring that would clarify protections for over half of the nation's small streams and 20 million acres of wetlands. These vital water bodies feed the drinking water for more than 1 in 3 Americans.

Clean Water Action's President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released this statement. 

"This is landmark report confirms what Americans have always known - our water is connected. We have been fighting to protect small streams and wetlands for more than a decade because what happens upstream affects everything else downstream. This report is exhaustive and should remove any doubt that it's time to put drinking water first and ensure that our small streams and wetlands receive the same protections as the Chesapeake, the Mississippi, or Puget Sound. This report should guide EPA and the Corps as the agencies work to finalize a strong, common sense rule - one that was recently supported by more than 800,000 Americans. We urge our elected officials to read this report and allow EPA and the Corps to finish their work to protect clean water."

A Clean Water Action review of the draft of this report informed a white paper on impacts of the proposed Clean Water rule on drinking water. Read Putting Drinking Water First #2: The Definition of Waters of the US Under the Clean Water Act here.


Clean Water Action is the nation’s largest grassroots group focused on water, energy and environmental health.  Clean Water Action’s 1 million members participate in Clean Water Action’s programs for clean water, prevention of health-threatening pollution, and creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses.  Clean Water Action’s nonpartisan campaigns empower people to make democracy work.

Jennifer Peters
1 202-393-3224