Why have a Source Water Assessment Program?
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 required states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAP) to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of the public drinking water throughout the state. Source water is the groundwater or surface water that provides drinking water for a public water system.
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water (BSDW), is the agency with primacy for development and implementation of the state of Nevada SWAP program. Primacy designation by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows states to administer SWAP programs within their respective states.
The 1996 amendments required the state of Nevada to delineate the areas that are sources of public drinking water, identify potential contaminant sources within the delineated area, assess the water systems' susceptibility to contamination, and to inform the public of the results.
The law is intended to promote the source water protection programs and to focus on the highest risks to drinking water sources. Publications produced by Nevada's SWAP program include summaries for water system consumer confidence reports (CCR) and assessment reports of each water system.