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Integrated Planning: The Keystone of Capacity Development and Small Water Systems including a Case Study of the Montgomery County Public Service Authority

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Supplying water to communities is one of the primary services of many local governments in the United States. Local governments use a variety of means for developing community water systems. The major goal of municipal water suppliers is to provide safe and affordable water for residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial uses. In rural localities, provision of safe public drinking water can pose a significant challenge, especially given financial and economic constraints inherent in small communities where economies of scale are limited. In an effort to ensure that public water systems meet minimum standards for safe drinking water, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974. The act requires all community water systems to meet minimum standards for drinking water quality. Community water systems cannot meet minimum water quality standards without strong financial, managerial, and technical capacity. The 1996 Amendments to SDWA address small systems through the new Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, Capacity Development, source water protection, operator certification, consumer confidence, and variances and exemptions. These components are interrelated and connect in multiple ways. In a somewhat overstated manner, capacity development can be thought of as a tapestry which weaves together all existing State drinking water program activities into a focused effort to help troubled water systems. This paper explores opportunities and constraints of developing small rural water supply systems in the context of the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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