Water: Our Waters
Waters (By Type)
The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW), together with states, tribes, and its many partners, protects public health by ensuring safe drinking water and protecting ground water. OGWDW, along with EPA's ten regional drinking water programs, oversees implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is the national law safeguarding tap water in America.
This page includes links to the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water's activities to protect ground water, including the Underground Injection Control Program, the Ground Water Rule and source water protection. It also includes information on household wells and classroom activities related to ground water.
Lakes and reservoirs cover nearly 40 million acres of the United States. This page includes the National Lakes Assessment, summaries of lake water quality, the Clean Lakes Program under the Clean Water Act, funding for lake restoration under the Nonpoint Source Program, and Lakes Awareness Month
Oceans, Coasts, Estuaries and Beaches
The Oceans and Coastal Protection Division envisions clean and safe oceans and coasts that sustain human health, the environment, and the economy.
Rivers & Streams
Find links to data on the quality of the nation's rivers and streams.
Stormwater runoff is generated when rain and snowmelt do not soak into the ground but flow over land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), accumulating debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated.
EPA's Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) oversees a range of programs contributing to the well-being of the nation's waters and watersheds. OWM promotes compliance with the requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Under the Clean Water Act, OWM works with EPA regions, states and tribes to regulate discharges into surface waters such as wetlands, lakes, rivers, estuaries, bays and oceans.
We all live in a watershed -- the area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer, or even the ocean -- and our individual actions can directly affect it. Working together using a watershed approach will help protect our nation's water resources.
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season. This page provides links to basic information on the importance of wetlands, and about EPA's programs to protect them.
Where You Live
Are you curious about the water where you live? Find information on the waters in your region, state, local area, and watershed.