drinking water providers partnership

As our climate changes and our built infrastructure ages, new challenges are appearing for water managers committed to keeping their ratepayers confident in the water that flows from their taps.

Working Waters’ Source Water Initiative helps cities and towns throughout the Pacific Northwest incorporate green infrastructure into their management so as to reduce pollution, decrease water treatment costs, offset the burden of infrastructure maintenance, and support community and environmental health while preparing for a changing climate.

About the Source Water Initiative


Over 1/2 of Oregonians and 1/3 of Washingtonians rely on streams and rivers for their drinking water, and these supplies are threatened on multiple fronts. From ageing infrastructure to a warming climate, water managers – especially those in small towns – have their hands full, and then some, with few financial resources to meet the challenges. To top it off, not many towns realize that upstream restoration can be a cost-effective and key component to their larger water management strategy.

“We want to make it easy for towns and water managers to turn to nature whenever possible, instead of concrete and chemicals, in order to meet their water quality and quantity goals.”

The Working Waters Initiative partners with communities and natural resource agencies to restore watershed health as a means of securing clean water for communities while improving freshwater habitat for fish and wildlife. We strive to:

  • Build relationships between downstream communities and upstream land owners and restoration practitioners.
  • Identify, implement, and monitor restoration activities in municipal watersheds to secure high-quality water supplies for communities while benefiting wildlife and the natural environment.
  • Prove the economic sense of green infrastructure to promote its use throughout the Northwest.

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Roseburg Workshop

Clean Drinking Water Starts Upstream Workshops

In 2018, EPA sponsored a series of watershed workshops with land practitioners like the conservation district, salmon restoration entities, Tribal staff, Forest Service, county staff, and drinking water utilities from targeted watersheds. They discussed collaborative opportunities to improve water quality for drinking water and fish in watersheds. In addition to presentations and group discussion, each workshop included a tour of a water treatment plant in order to introduce land practitioners to the complex processes of making safe water. A funding matrix for source water protection was developed to help utilities and practitioners identify restoration and source water protection funding sources. Workshop material is available below.


Drinking Water Providers Partnership

dwpp logos2019

The Drinking Water Providers Partnership is a collaboration of the Geos Institute, USDA Forest Service Region 6, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Washington Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management OR/WA Office, and WildEarth Guardians.

Together, we coordinate an annual, competitive grant solicitation and award program for environmental conservation and restoration projects in municipal watersheds across the Northwest.

This page has moved. Please visit the Partnership page at the website of our parent organization Geos Institute to see information about past and current funding opportunities: https://geosinstitute.org/initiatives/dwpp

“One of the USDA Forest Service’s primary missions is to help ensure the abundant clean water critical to individuals and industries across the U.S. through our work in sustaining national forests and grasslands. The Drinking Water Providers Partnership is an example of how we, in partnership with others, fulfill this purpose. By pairing Forest Service watershed restoration experts with drinking water providers, we can protect and restore municipal watersheds across on National Forest and other lands.”

– Jim Pena, Regional Forester


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Initiative of
Geos Institute