Our rivers, lakes, aquifers, and coastal waters aren’t unlimited resources that can handle whatever we take out or dump in. These waters need protection.

NRDC pressures the federal government to protect all U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act. We also fight for policies and practices that ensure a safe and sufficient water supply through efficiency, pollution controls, better management, and infrastructure improvements.

What We're Doing

Policy Solution

Enforce the Clean Water Act

We make sure this important law—which protects about 60 percent of the nation's bodies of water—doesn't get trampled on by Big Oil and other industries.

Policy Solution

American beaches violate public health standards thousands of times a year. We push solutions that keep them cleaner.

Policy Solution

To stop coal-fired power plants from dumping millions of tons of toxic chemicals into waterways, we fight for stronger limitation standards by the EPA.

Policy Solution

With more frequent droughts, groundwater levels are dwindling. We work to protect this important freshwater source from depletion and pollution.

Policy Resource

What’s lurking in your lake? NRDC’s assessment of freshwater harmful algal bloom programs in the United States shows what states are doing—or not doing—to keep the public informed and protected.

On Location

Stories from the front lines of the nation's drinking water crisis.


Farming in harmony with nature fights climate change, improves water quality, and protects biodiversity. NRDC works with growers, ranchers, and community leaders to craft policies for a regenerative farm and food system.

Related Priorities

What You Can Do

Water Pollution: Everything You Need to Know

Our rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and seas are drowning in chemicals, waste, plastic, and other pollutants. Here’s why―and what you can do to help.

Floraciones de algas nocivas de agua dulce 101

Why Are Our Waters Turning Green?

Industrial Agriculture 101

Experts & Resources