The Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) is a joint project with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the National Rural Water Association (NRWA), a non-profit water and wastewater utility membership organization. The SWPP is designed to help prevent pollution of surface and ground water used as the primary source of drinking water by rural residents. Through NRWA, full-time rural source water technicians with practical experience are hired. The technicians work with specialists from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and state and county FSA staff, to identify areas where pollution prevention is most needed. Once areas for pollution prevention are identified, technicians work with state rural water associations to create local teams made up of citizens and individuals from federal, state, local, and private organizations. These teams collaborate to create a Rural Source Water Protection plan to promote clean source water. The plan identifies voluntary actions that farmers and ranchers can install to prevent source water pollution.
Producers in participating states are encouraged to take part in SWPP by using suggested conservation practices and becoming a member of the local team responsible for developing the SWPP.
As climate changes the quality and quantity of water may be affected. Clean drinking water is critical. The SWPP works at a grassroots level to educate and inform rural residents about steps they can take to prevent water pollution and improve water quality.