Where Does Your Water Come From?


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Photo Young boy wearing snorkel explores the shallow waters of the Conasauga River in Tennessee. © George Ivey

Find the water source for your city on our interactive map!

If your city or town isn’t one of the 63 included in the map, we encourage you to do some research of your own and share your findings with us when you provide a comment below.

Because we can’t verify the accuracy of all submissions, be sure to include where you got your information.

Research Tips

1. Search online. Start with Google using search phrases like:

  • “drinking water source for [your town’s name]”
  • “water supply for [your town’s name] comes from”
  • “[your town’s name] water authority” (or water services department)

2. Call your local government. If you can’t find any department listed with the word “water” in the title, call your mayor’s office and ask for help!

Spread the word — Share the map on Facebook and Twitter!

Comments from the Community

I live in Reading, Pennsylvania and our water comes from Lake Ontelaunee. Lake Ontelaunee was constructed in 1926 and is located about eight (8) miles north of the City. Lake Ontelaunee has a water surface area of 1,082 acres and a capacity of 3.88 billion gallons. The design safe yield is 77 million gallons per day.

I live in Lexington, Kentucky, and our drinking water comes from the Kentucky River. http://www.lexingtonky.gov/index.aspx?page=809

J.C. Ebbing
Water Source for: Little Rock, Arkansas. The greater Little Rock area (388,000 residents) is served by Central Arkansas Water, which gets 100% of it's water from 2 reservoirs: Lake Winona, in Saline County, which is fed by the Alum Fork of the Saline River; and Lake Maumelle, in Pulaski County, fed by the Big Maumelle River. Both of these rivers drain the Eastern Ouachita mountains.

Steve VanFossen
Missoula, Montana, water supply comes from the Missoula aquifer. This aquifer is the sole source of water for residents in the Missoula Valley. More than 40,000 households depend on it for water every day. Running from Milltown all the way to Frenchtown and up to Lolo, it’s a seemingly endless source of clean, fresh water. Every year rainfall and snowmelt flowing out of the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers and local streams seep down through glacial deposits and recharge this vast underground water source. This natural storage tank contains billions of gallons of fresh water but it’s all just below the ground surface – so close that in some places it’s no deeper than 40 feet below the surface. http://www.mtnwater.com/aahquifer.htm

Dean Weldon
Coeur d’Alene, ID relies on the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer which underlies a sizeable area of heavily populated parts of Kootenai County, Idaho and adjacent Spokane County, Washington. Its occupies an area of 321 square miles from the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille and northern end of Coeur d'Alene Lake and extends west under the Rathdrum Prairie in Idaho and the Spokane Valley in Washington. The aquifer serves as the principal source of drinking water for nearly 500,000 people and was designated as a sole source aquifer in 1978. An estimated 352,000 pounds of lead from leftover mine pollution has recently washed into Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho according to an official with the U.S. Geological Survey. The lead reportedly washed into the lake on Jan. 18 as a result of a rain-on-snow event that caused flooding. While the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for thousands of residents of northern Idaho and eastern Washington, it is not the only source of drinking water in the area. Many communities use surface water (water from lakes and streams) for drinking water. Source documents: Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Seattle-Post Intelligencer.

Watford City, ND, obtains its water from two sources: treated water from the Tobacco Garden aquifer and treated Missouri River water, according to the McKenzie County Water Resource District.

Dean Weldon
Dallas Water Supply Dallas currently obtains water from area reservoirs: Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Lewisville, Lake Grapevine, Lake Ray Roberts and Lake Tawakoni. They also have plans to use Lake Fork and Lake Palestine in the future when water demands increase. All of Dallas' water supply comes from surface water (water from reservoirs or rivers). They (reportedly) do not use any ground water (water from wells), although Dallas does sit atop an aquifer.

Jim Pfiffer
More than half of the drinking water for the city of Elmira, N.Y. comes from the Chemung River, according to the Elmira Water Board. The river water is removed through a river bottom intake, just upstream from the Walnut Street Bridge.

Sue Blythe
The upper Guayllabamba River watershed provides the water for Quito, Ecuador. Many rivers supply water to the Guyllabamba River, which runs to the Pacific Ocean.

The freshwater used by the City of Richmond comes, in large part, from the James River. http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicUtilities/QualityWaterTreatment.aspx
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