The History of National Water Quality Month

Did you know less than one percent of the world’s water is drinkable? Often through improper management and conservation, drinkable water often referred to as potable water, becomes unclean and unsafe for human use.

In an effort to encourage people to protect clean water resources that keep us all healthy, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named August National Water Quality Month in 2005. This month-long spotlight is an opportunity for us all to explore how our everyday actions affect water quality, both for people and for wildlife.

National Water Quality Month is a time where you can learn about how to preserve water resources and protect the waterways in and around your communities.

In addition to providing education and information about water quality and preservation, the EPA also helped pass legislation to protect water. In 1972, the Clean Water Act was created to be the primary federal law governing water pollution. This act regulates surface water protection with the goal of eliminating toxic pollution from water-based sports and activities. In 1974, U.S. Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act, which works to regulate and protect groundwater.

It is imperative, now more than ever, that we take large steps toward water conservation in an effort to reduce our negative impact on waterways and groundwater. More than half of the U.S.’  national park waterways are considered “Impaired,” meaning they are not up to the standards set by that Clean Water Act, and need substantial work to be brought up to par.

Waterways are polluted by agricultural runoff, industrial effluent dumping, household chemical water contamination, public sewage, and untreated waste runoff. As individuals, we can reduce pollution by our participation in water safety measures and meaningful regulation of business practices.

By understanding where water comes from and the best practices to make sure it remains clean, safe and reliable, can protect the health and safety of our communities. Taking part in National Water Quality month can help to ensure our water resources are clean, safe, and reliable and protect the aquifers, lakes, rivers, and streams that are essential to our world.