Community health and prosperity depend directly on having a sufficient supply of clean water. Water is essential for basic hygiene and sanitation. It also provides irrigation for agriculture, a habitat for plants and animals, natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and associated economic vitality. In many cases, obtaining one of these crucial benefits may make it more difficult to pursue another. In this regard, the values and needs of individual communities often determine the most appropriate choices and compromises.
Flexible Standards and Goals for Water Quality: Policy
Balancing goals and ensuring compliance
Legislators and regulators should balance water demands for municipal, agricultural, and industrial uses with environmental protection and preservation of water quality.
Federal policymakers should allow states and localities reasonable flexibility in achieving national standards and goals for water quality.
At the same time policymakers should require careful monitoring and strict accountability to ensure compliance with national standards.