National Drinking Water Clearinghouse
West Virginia University
PO Box 6893
Morgantown, WV

Web Resources

Site makes Drinking Water Research Easy

Are you researching a particular drinking water quality topic? Do you wish that everything about drinking water could be in one place?The Web site Drinking Water Resources has come pretty close to making that wish come true. This site has “everything you wanted to know about drinking water, but didn’t know who to ask,” according to Randy Johnson, the site’s creator and a risk analyst at the Denver Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Cardiac Surgery Program.

About six years ago Johnson was in the market for a point of use (POU) water treatment system for his home and decided to do some research before he made a decision about which one to purchase. But the information he uncovered was disappointing. “I found most of the information quite biased toward whichever system a company was attempting to market, so it was difficult to find unbiased information,” he says.

Johnson resolved that there must be other people in the same predicament. “I could find no sites that consolidated information about all of the aspects of drinking water in one place, so I decided to put the materials I had collected ‘out there’ for others to use,” he explains.

“I wanted this site to be a service for people looking for information about their water quality,” he continues. “It currently gets about 3,000 unique visitors a month.”

Site visitors can surf the 300+ links that Johnson provides and find information about numerous drinking water issues , including contaminants, treatment, drinking water sources,and health effects.

“One of the things I discovered early on was that there is no perfect solution for all water situations,” says Johnson. “There is always a trade-off among the contaminants a particular treatment method will remove, the complexity of maintenance, special requirements like electricity or water pressure, the quality of the components, ongoing costs, and initial price.”

The site's 300+ links include:

• Government sites, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, The National Library of Medicine, and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
• Environmental organizations, such as the National Resource Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group;
• Water industry groups and treatment facilities, such as NSF International, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and Denver Water;
• University-based cooperative extension services and research groups, such as the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the Research Division of Biology, Kansas State University; and
•Media publications, such as Popular Science and various newspaper articles.

Site Offers E-Newsletter

If getting all the latest drinking water news is your thing, then you will probably be interested in The focus of this site is drinking water quality, and it contains information about the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulations, as well as information about legislation at the federal, state, and local levels.

But the most popular feature of the site by far is an electronic newsletter NEWS. This newsletter offers general news stories of interest to the drinking water quality community—everything from groundwater contamination to drinking water treatment innovations and violations. And it arrives in your e-mail once a week, “usually on Wednesday,” as the site’s creators note. NEWS links to newspapers, the Federal Register, state regulatory newsletters, or anyplace else that has current drinking water news to fulfill its mission.

To learn more about or to subscribe to the newsletter, visit the site at You may contact them at McGuire Environmental Consultants, Inc., 1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite #200, Santa Monica, CA 90404. You also may e-mail them at, or call (310) 829-1441.

Educating Young People About Water

According to the University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Extension program, “Water education programs take place in little pockets all over the country—that’s the nature of water; it’s everywhere! To attract youth, program goals and activities must be relevant to a young person's life. Then, to link youth programs to their community, it takes a clear understanding of a community’s water problems in order to design a program that best fits the people and issues involved.”

To fulfill that goal, the extension program developed the Educating Young People About Water program. Since its inception in 1991, the program boasts about educating thousands of young people. It also offers materials that can help other communities educate their youth about water and develop community-based, youth water-education programs.

The program’s materials help to:
• Choose water curricula appropriate for learners,
• Plan and evaluate a water education program in relation to a local water issue,
• Work in partnership with local experts, and
• Improve young peoples ability to manage and protect water.

Resources are available directly from the Web site or in hard copy.

For more information, visit the site at You also may contact program representatives at Educating Young People About Water, Environmental Resources Center, 216 Agriculture Hall, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. You also may call (800) WATER20 (800-928-3720) , or e-mail them at

Rocky Mountain Institute

The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization that fosters an efficient, restorative use of resources. They've got a section on their Web site devoted to water.

According to RMI, most governments, utilities, and water users are making the same mistakes with water that they have made with energy: depleting nonrenewable supplies, using the highest-quality water for every task, supplying more instead of making more productive use of what they have, building big water infrastructure systems without considering the best size for the job, and failing to protect ecosystems . These "hard path" approaches are increasingly unaffordable and harmful to the environment.

RMI works to encourage a "soft path" for water: technologies and management systems that provide the same or better services with less water, and usually with less expansive and expensive infrastructure.

Their staff and network of affiliated professionals research and publish reports about cutting-edge water management ideas, consult for companies, utilities, and governments; and educate the public and other professionals about effective strategies.

RMI works in the following water-related areas:

* Household water efficiency
* Water efficiency policy and implementation
* Infrastructure and system planning
* Commercial, industrial, and institutional water efficiency
* Watersheds, stormwater, and stream restoration.
is an online information source for the drinking water community. delivers news and resources for drinking water professionals, as well as information for the public about water treatment and conservation. 

Their online magazine, H2O News, brings you the latest industry headlines, along with a calendar of events. A number of services are being developed, including a violations reporting service to notify you of reports against your utility and assist in correcting errors. They also have a list of links to additional drinking water resources.

Their education pages feature a number of online presentations, including the award-winning "Drinking Water 101," which describes how a conventional water treatment plant works and how you can help protect drinking water resources.

If you represent a water utility and would like more information about their services, you can fill out their free on-line registration form. You will receive updates as services become available.
Visit the site at