Drinking Water

Measuring what matters: Shared goals

The Great Lakes provide drinking water for nearly 40 million people in the United States and Canada. Whether supplied by a public water system or private well, the region benefits from its abundance of freshwater; however, that water is not immune from threats. Through Blue Accounting, water professionals around the Great Lakes basin are discussing ways to track threats to drinking water supply and opportunities to maintain and improve our drinking water.

What we do

Building from the work of a pilot Blue Accounting Issue focused on source water protection, an expanded Advisory Team was convened in June 2021 to focus on the delivery of drinking water in Great Lakes states and provinces from source to tap.

What we measure

The Advisory Team is currently working to develop goals and metrics related to:

    • source water protection
    • water treatment
    • water distribution
    • water access

The data dashboards developed for the Source Water issue that formed part of Blue Accounting’s pilot phase are available within the Blue Accounting Data Portal. They include:

    • map viewer showing which watersheds contain nutrient-impaired rivers and lakes in the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes basin and where U.S. communities use rivers and small lakes for drinking water.
    • dashboard developed to track which public drinking water supplies are required to test for emerging contaminants under the US EPA UCMR.
    • dashboard that tracks the status of source water protection planning across the basin.