Safe Drinking Water
What's At Stake
The drinking water crisis is impacting nearly 130 million Americans across the country. And the problem is only getting worse.
A growing number of communities—many of them underserved low-income communities of color—are grappling with different forms of water contamination every time they turn on the tap, from lead to PFAS chemicals to harmful algal blooms. This puts them at increased risk for a number of health issues, cancer, developmental delays, and infertility.
Working with on-the-ground partners, NRDC is fighting to ensure that all people have safe drinking water. We’ve taken local governments, like Flint, Michigan, to court to make sure their residents have access to safe drinking water—and won. We’re encouraging states to require mandatory water filtration in schools and childcare centers, all while presenting long-term solutions to fix the problem of lead contamination. We’re pushing local and federal lawmakers to protect the public from PFAS, an all-too-common group of chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health issues. And NRDC is raising awareness about the impacts of the growing algal bloom problem.
Safe, sufficient, and affordable drinking water is a human right—and NRDC will continue to fight for it.
Learn More: Lead
The number of people who got their water from systems that exceeded EPA’s Lead Action Level between January 2015 and March 2018
At least 82 percent of New York public schools have a lead problem
Of all the factors we studied, race had the strongest relationship to slow and inadequate enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Learn More: PFAS
The extreme persistence and often high mobility of PFAS has ensured their widespread contamination of the global environment, often including drinking water.
These forever chemicals must be regulated and eliminated at the source of the discharge to prevent serious health issues for communities downstream.
While California’s new guidelines are the nation’s most health protective levels proposed for two PFAS chemicals, we are disappointed by the decision to focus on just two of the many PFAS that have been detected in the state’s drinking water.
New Jersey’s proposed regulation of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water does not go far enough.
Learn More: Harmful Algal Blooms
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