Source Water Initiative: Project Archive

Mar 2023 | Archived Projects, Library, Water Quality

This project has ended. Archived project materials are available below. For information about ongoing work in this area, please visit the Blue Accounting website:

The Source Water Initiative is part of the Commission’s groundbreaking Blue Accounting program that will bring together water professionals from around the Great Lakes to promote shared, region-wide goals for protecting sources of drinking water. The Initiative will further develop recommended metrics for tracking progress toward the shared goals through available data sources with a keen eye toward filling gaps between existing regulatory systems. Ultimately, these efforts will deliver the right information to Great Lakes leaders through a web-based information platform; helping those leaders better set priorities and allocate resources.

Learn More about the Source Water Initiative


Imagine a day without water. How would you go about your daily life? Care for your family? Run a business? Now imagine three days without water and recall that the City of Toledo and nearby areas in Ohio and Michigan found themselves in this exact situation in the summer of 2014 during a harmful algal bloom on Lake Erie. Earlier in 2014, and outside the Great Lakes Basin, residents in a West Virginia community were without water for up to a week after chemicals were spilled into their source of drinking water, the Elk River. How can our Great Lakes communities address a seemingly endless array of risks to our water while also minding their budgetary bottom line?

Examining source water protection within the framework of the Blue Accounting program also presents as opportunity to provide services to local communities as an “incubator” for tracking watershed- or community-based efforts and coordinating those activities toward achievement of the shared goals. The Initiative will identify pilot areas within the Great Lakes basin, including one within the Western Lake Erie Basin, to test the incubator service through real-world application of Blue Accounting principles and seeks to produce results for public review in early 2018.

The Source Water Initiative was led by a team from the Great Lakes Commission in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Blue Accounting receives funding support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.


Blue Accounting Source Water (Drinking Water) Initiative Website

While a general description of the Source Water Initiative and other resources for potential Showcase Communities are housed here on the Great Lakes Commission’s website, the main website for the Source Water (Drinking Water) Initiative is located within the Blue Accounting website.

Resources for Showcase Communities

We are currently recruiting Showcase Communities who are working to mitigate threats to the region’s source water. Whether you’re a supplier of water, watershed organization, or other program, sharing information about your strategies and investments on the Blue Accounting website can elevate your work to garner additional financial and community support, and inspire others to follow your lead. Please peruse the Fact Sheet and Informational Slides below, and fill out the Questionnaire to let us know about the work your community or organization is doing to protect your source(s) of drinking water.

Additional Regional Source Water Protection Resources

Project Documents

Project Documents (Password Protected)

Password protected documents are archived for project team use, and are not available for public download.


Work Group Members

Project Management – Great Lakes Commission

  • Nicole Zacharda, Program Manager

State & Provincial Governments

  • Heather Malcolmson, Director, Source Protection Program Branch, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
  • Patrick Bowling, State Source Water Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Christopher Berkey, Geologic Specialist- Source Water Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Jim Sullivan, Chief Ground Water Section, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • Matt Gamble, Supervisor Source Water Unit, Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • Brian Austin, Water Supply Specialist Division of Environmental Management, Groundwater Section Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Steve Robertson, Supervisor Source Water Protection Unit, Minnesota Department of Environmental Health
  • Shannon Nabors, NW Ohio District Chief, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Rick Cobb, Deputy Manager Division of Drinking Water, Groundwater, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Government

United States Geological Survey

  • Howard Reeves, Research Hydrologist, Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center
  • Angela Brennan, Hydrologist, Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center

United States Environmental Protection Agency

  • Karen WirthSource Water Protection Team Leader, Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water
  • James (Bo) WilliamsEnvironmental Protection Specialist, Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water
  • Cary McElhinney, Program Coordinator, EPA Region 5-Water Division

Municipal Governments & Regional Authorities

  • Todd Danielson, Chief Utilities Executive Avon Lake Regional Water, Ohio
  • Irene Caminer, Director of Legal   Services, City of Chicago Water Management, Illinois
  • Jeanette Ball, Administrator, City of Toledo, Ohio
  • Patrick Staskiewicz, Public Utilities Director, Ottawa County Road Commission, MI
  • Janice M. Skadsen, retired, Representing AWWA
  • Jennifer Boehme, Physical Scientist, The International Joint Commission
  • Tina Skeldon Wozniak, President, Board of Commissioners, Lucas County, Ohio
  • Melissa Greene Hopfer, Sustainability Coordinator, Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission
  • Chitra Gowda, Source Water Protection Lead, Conservation Ontario
  • Therese Estephan, Source Water Advisor, Region of Peel, Ontario
  • Andrew J. Farr, Acting Executive Director Water and Wastewater, Region of Peel, Ontario
  • Scott D. Moegling, Water Quality Manager, Cleveland Water, Ohio

Environmental Organizations

  • Molly Flanagan, Vice President, Policy, Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • Paul Seegert, Source Water Protection, Michigan Rural Water Association
  • Scott Sowa, Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy
  • Katie Rousseau, Director Clean Water Supply, Great Lakes, American Rivers
  • Antoine Verville, Directeur General Adjoint, Regroupement des Organismes de Bassins Versants du Quebec

Research Institutions

  • Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research, Michigan State University
  • Carol Miller, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of Healthy Urban Waters, Wayne State University, MI 
  • Scott Graham, Director: Public Engagement and Science Communication, School of Freshwater Science, UW-Milwaukee
  • Aaron Thiel, Research Manager, UW-Milwaukee Center for Water Policy
  • Manuel Rodriguez-Pinzon, Research Chair on Drinking Water, Universite Laval

Industry Organizations

  • Martin Wille, Supervisor, Water Quality and Environmental Compliance, Indiana American Water
  • Laura Campbell, Agricultural Ecology Department Manager, Michigan Farm Bureau
  • Kathy Buckner, President, Council of Great Lakes Industries
  • Rob Rouse, Director, EH&S Auditing, The Dow Chemical Company

For More Information

Nicole Zacharda
Program Manager, Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]