Water is a rural communities’ most vital resource. It is also its most vulnerable resource. Any activity in the watershed1, will ultimately impact the quality of the water in a reservoir. Source water protection planning works to ensure that drinking water is protected at the source. The Environmental Protection Agency2 highlights some of the problems that can occur when drinking water reservoirs are contaminated. They include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Paying for alternative or emergency water supplies
  • Adding more water treatment
  • Finding new water sources
  • Decreased property values and loss of tax base
  • Loss of citizens’ confidence in their drinking water, public utilities, and community leaders

The North Central Missouri Regional Water Commission has received funding from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to find opportunities to voluntarily collaborate with our neighbors to protect water quality in Elmwood Lake and East Locust Creek Reservoir. This is the first time that a source water protection plan has been written for a lake prior to construction.

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