EPA regulations and norms for water usage in the United States


EPA regulations and norms for water usage in the United States: regulation and norms, is a post written by Delaney Wehn (Fulbright Scholar in Grado en Transporte y Logística UCJC. Environmental thinking to build the future of supply chain.

Water Regulation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an arm of the executive branch of the federal government, plays a prominent role in the regulation of water usage in the United States. The EPA, “enforces federal clean water and safe drinking water laws, provides support for municipal wastewater treatment plants, and takes part in pollution prevention efforts aimed at protecting watersheds and sources of drinking water” (EPA.gov, 2019).

Key pieces of legislation that maintain the safety of American water for human consumption and other uses include the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Ground Water Rule. These laws set federal standards for the quality of water in America, such as setting limits for the amount of pollutants present in water samples. These examples are just two among dozens of pieces of legislation that specifically regulate water in the United States. It is interesting to note that many of these regulations target more localized municipal water treatment operations, and the EPA in turn supports these smaller local entities in carrying out the regulations.

Other areas of specific regulation include:Water UCJC

Water Consumption Norms

In 2018, about 87 percent of Americans got their water from publicly owned water sources—most of which are owned by municipalities (Jacobin, 2018). The remainder of Americans primarily got their water from privately owned water companies, which are owned by investors and operate for profit. It is also of note that in more rural areas, up to 20 percent of families get their water from their own personal wells (EPA.gov, 2002). Per capita, Americans consume more freshwater per year than Spaniards, with an average of 1543 cubic meters of freshwater being withdrawn per year per American and just 800 cubic meters of freshwater being withdrawn per year per Spaniard (OurWorldInData.org, 2015).

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