An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Source Water Protection (SWP)

Resources for Funding Source Water Protection

On this page:

EPA Resources

  • Water Finance Clearinghouse - The Water Finance Clearinghouse is a searchable database of financial assistance resources (e.g., grants, loans, cost-sharing opportunities, etc.) available from federal agencies, including resources to fund a variety of watershed protection projects.
  • Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center - The Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center provides financial expertise to communities that are financing drinking water, waste water, and/or stormwater infrastructure projects.

Other Resources

The following links exit the site EXIT 
You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

References are provided in accordance with EPA's external link procedures.

  • Beyond the Source - This report published by the Nature Conservancy highlights water funds as a promising source water protection approach and details water fund programs from around the world to illustrate how the mechanism can be adapted to different contexts. It highlights source water protection as a nexus strategy that presents an opportunity as a cost-effective way to enhance water security and provide other valuable co-benefits. It also includes map of water funds and identifies significant source watersheds.
    • Abell, R., et al. (2017). Beyond the Source: The Environmental, Economic and Community Benefits of Source Water Protection. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA.
  • Environmental Finance Center at University of North Carolina - The Environmental Finance Center works to enhance the ability of governments and other organizations to provide environmental programs and services in fair, effective and financially sustainable ways. They developed a Rates Analysis Model, which is an easy-to-use, simplified cash flow model. It allows utilities or local governments to input current water consumption rates, number of accounts, growth rate, average consumption, and expenses in order to compute net profit/losses for multiple years.
  • Forest Trends: Ecosystem Marketplace Publications - The catalog of Forest Trends publications covers topics related to ecosystem services valuation, markets, investments, and other ecosystem services payment and incentive mechanisms, including research and white papers on water quality trading, quantification of benefits from watershed protection, and watershed investment. 
    • An Atlas of Ecosystem Markets in the United States - This report was developed by the EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Markets, and Ecosystem Marketplace to help actors interested in environmental markets identify and understand key market trends and patterns across the United States.  
  • Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus - This report published by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presents case studies and best practices on natural infrastructure challenges posed by the intersection of water, food, and energy challenges. 
    • Ozment, S., DiFrancesco, K., Gartner, T. (2015) The role of natural infrastructure in the water, energy and food nexus, Nexus Dialogue Synthesis Papers. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2015.NEX.4.en
  • Natural Infrastructure: Investing in Forested Landscapes for Source Water Protection - This comprehensive toolkit from WRI presents a case for utilizing natural infrastructure conservation (i.e., forested lands) to protect source water resources.  It provides guidance on the economics, science, partnerships, and finance mechanisms underlying successful efforts to develop natural infrastructure programs. 
  • Nature Conservancy's Urban Water Blueprint - This report and interactive web portal allows users to browse a world map containing cities whose drinking watersheds have been evaluated for natural infrastructure solutions and drinking water source quality improvement. It provides an analysis of the state of water for more than 2,000 watersheds and 530 cities worldwide to inform and promote the use of natural solutions for water quality protection. McDonald, R.I. and D. Shemie, Urban Water Blueprint: Mapping conservation solutions to the global water challenge. 2014, The Nature Conservancy: Washington, D.C
  • Protecting Drinking Water at the Source - Based on comparison of thirteen case studies from across the U.S., this WRI report identifies ten lessons for successful establishment and development of a watershed investment program. These lessons were commonly identified by program practitioners as keys to success, despite differences in geography or context.

Learn more about funding source water protection.