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Who We Are

The Ohio River Source Water Alliance (ORSWA) is a cooperative Source Water Protection Program that is dedicated to the preservation of the Ohio River as a source of drinking water for the citizens of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Area. GCWW and the NKWD, with support and encouragement from the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), started to jointly address source water protection on the Ohio River in 2006, with a resurgence of activity in 2013. The partnership grew through the 2013 to 2017 period as the group came together to prepare a joint source water protection plan and laid the groundwork to jointly implement that plan. The joint source water protection plan was endorsed and approved by both the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection in 2018.

What is Source Water Protection

Source Water is the raw, untreated supply of water – typically surface water or groundwater – used for current or potential future use.

Source Water Protection is a proactive approach to safeguard, maintain, or improve the quality and/or quantity of drinking water sources and their contributing areas. Minimizing potential risks and impacts to source water is one of the first key steps to ensuring a safe and sustainable drinking water supply through the use of a multiple-barrier protection strategy.

What Are We Doing

The ORSWA source water protection programs has several aspects:

  • Understanding where the water comes from
  • Identification of potential sources of contamination upstream of the intakes
  • Implementing management strategies to reduce contaminant loading to the river or the lower the risk of spills
  • Developed enhanced notification programs to ensure that GCWW and NKWD are notified of spills in a timely manner
  • Monitoring the water quality in the Ohio River