|Source Water Protection Project|
"The future security of water supplies will not be ensured by water treatment alone. Protecting and managing forests in source watersheds is an essential part of future strategies for providing clean, safe, and affordable drinking water."
-"Forest, Water, and People," USFS State and Private Forestry, June 2009
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the United States Forest Service (USFS), in partnership with The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region (OSC) and East-West Gateway Council of Governments joined to create a demonstration site in the Lower Meramec River Watershed to show how land/forest protection and management strategies can be used to protect and improve drinking water quality.
Studies suggest protection of forest and natural lands is the single most important action that can be taken to protect drinking water supplies. The Source Water Protection Project provides an opportunity for area citizens and officials to reach a mutually agreed upon approach to the critical challenge of ensuring that plentiful supplies of safe drinking water continue to be available now and in the future for the metropolitan St. Louis area.
Unfortunately, the region does not have adequate protections in place to safeguard it primary drinking water sources. Because the Meramec River is one of the primary sources of drinking water for south St. Louis County and northern Jefferson County, there is a definite sense of urgency to protect this source of clean drinking water that serves more than 200,000 people in three Missouri counties: St. Louis, Franklin and Jefferson.
The Meramec River is the primary source of drinking water for more than 200,000 people.