Three water droplets into cup of water.

Drinking Water 1-2-3 Guide for Local Officials and Community Leaders


July 28, 2021 - Metropolitan Planning Council

Drinking Water 1-2-3 is a call to action and an educational tool for local officials and community leaders to better understand and proactively address their area’s drinking water needs.

Our proximity to a Great Lake means we generally enjoy ample water. But that good fortune has lulled us into complacency, and our drinking water systems have been neglected. Our proverbial glass is half empty.
What’s at stake? Public health and safety, including contamination and service disruptions due to crumbling infrastructure and aging water treatment systems. Our ability to attract jobs and drive regional economic growth—since every company needs water. Vital, yet fragile, ecosystems. Municipalities and their residents, who find themselves hard-pressed to pay the escalating costs of collecting, treating and delivering drinking water. And, yes, some groundwater sources may be unusable in less than 15-20 years. While our water supply issues are significant, they are fixable.

As a local leader, you set the tone for the rest of your community. What decisions will you make and actions will you take to ensure your community has safe and reliable drinking water now and into the future? What best practices will provide sustainable drinking water service for the communities you serve? Informing yourself about the systems and processes that convey safe drinking water to your municipality’s residents, businesses and institutions is vital.

Elected officials often enter office without prior experience in water resource management or running a water utility. This guide is designed to support you—our leaders—in understanding the key aspects of water management and critical questions to discuss with your water system managers and engineers, municipal planners, public works officials, finance directors, developers, residents and businesses. What practices are important today? What do other communities often forget? How can you best serve your community and support sustainable water service? Find answers to these questions—and more—here.



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