Southern Regional Water Program

Research, Extension & Education Water Quality Programs through the Land Grant University System

Drinking Water and Human Health in North Carolina

North Carolina citizens have historically enjoyed plentiful high-quality drinking water supplies in rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers. With rapid population increases in some areas of the state, water supplies are facing greater risk of depletion and boydrinking.jpgcontamination. Groundwater levels are lowering in some Coastal Plain regions, resulting in water use restrictions. Low-rainfall conditions are causing some Piedmont communities to implement water conservation measures and search for new water supplies. Major water quality threats include contamination of poorly-constructed private wells, urban storm water runoff into water supply reservoirs, and wastewater discharges into streams and groundwater supplies.

Conditions in Your Watershed

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and county health departments are responsible for ensuring adequate safe drinking water for all citizens. Also, the US Environmental Protection Agency maintains online information on public water systems.

Resources and Programs

North Carolina State University (NCSU) education and Extension programs are available to the public to address drinking water quality concerns. These programs also may be designed to provide water quality information to specific audiences such as youth, farmers and other rural citizens, small businesses and other audiences.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension provides educational programs to help citizens take action to protect their drinking water supplies. Programs developed by NC State University in Raleigh and NC A&T State University in Greensboro are being used in every county to provide water quality information to homeowners, youth, farmers, communities, businesses, and news media.

Extension Outreach

The NC Home*A*Syst and Farm*A*Syst programs have provided water quality information to more than 3,000 homeowners, farmers, and other residents. The program is reaching out to other government agencies and businesses to inform the public of the need for good water quality. By providing self-assessment sheets, the citizens of North Carolina are able to evaluate their pollution risks on their property. The topics cover well protection, septic tank maintenance, storm water management, and lawn care.

Scientific Research

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU provides research-based information to help communities ensure clean and safe water supplies. Water quality research and educational efforts span the state's geography as well as its demographics, with programs in areas ranging from mountain streams to marine estuaries, from the self-employed farmer to the state's largest industry. Information is available on current research and education programs.

College and University Education

Youth and continuing adult education are critical to develop new talent and human resources to address the water quality issues of the future. Educational curricula in drinking water and human health are available within several departments at NCSU. Graduate and undergraduate courses in key departments include:

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