Water Supply


Adequate Water Supply

Adequate water supply refers to the delivery of sufficient quantities of potable water under adequate pressure at affordable costs to the project site.

Estimates vary but on average, users consume approximately 80–100 gallons of water per day per capita.

Important Considerations

  1. What private company, public organization, or system will provide a sufficient quantity of clean, potable water needed for each step of the proposal (planning, construction, and completion)?
  2. Is either the municipal water utility or on-site water supply system adequate to serve the proposed project? Does the project require an adequate water supply determination from the state water resource agency or other state department?
  3. Is the water supply quality safe and free from potentially harmful chemicals, metals, bacteria, and other pathogens?
  4. Will the project affect a sole source or other aquifer by overdrawing resources from the water source? (Please refer to the Sole Source Aquifers webpage for further guidance.)
  5. If the water supply is non-municipal, have the appropriate authorities and agencies approved an acceptable water purification and transport system?
  6. Will the project water requirements of the proposal result in a significant consumption of the community’s available water supply or significant deterioration of water quality?
  7. How is the project likely to be affected by future water conditions under likely global climate change scenarios? Consider both quantity (e.g., droughts, water shortages) and quality (e.g., increased potential for harmful algal blooms).

Analysis Techniques

Step 1

Review the project plans to determine the number and type of residential units proposed, or the type and size of the proposed commercial, institutional, or industrial uses.

Step 2

Estimate the project’s future water use and note any plans for conservation techniques.

Step 3

Contact the local water authority or public works department to determine whether the existing and future public water supply is adequate to meet the needs of the project.

Step 4

Confirm that the water supplies are of potable quality according to state and local public health standards.

If the existing public water supply system is inadequate to meet the needs of the project, hold discussions with the water authority to learn if drilling new wells, interconnecting with other nearby systems that have ample supplies, or other options exist to expand the system without overdrawing water resources. The willingness of the authority to do this and economic feasibility are equally important.

Additional Considerations

If a public system is not available to serve residential areas, then individual wells must meet HUD’s Minimum Property Standards for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. The Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300f et seq.), which protects sole source aquifers, also applies. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, any project that could contaminate an EPA-designated aquifer cannot receive federal assistance. State and regional agencies can have additional potable water supply requirements and associated resource materials.

Mitigation Measures

If the public system cannot provide additional water supply, investigate whether wells drilled on-site could furnish adequate supplies at affordable costs.

If on-site wells will not produce adequate water at a reasonable cost, abandon or postpone the project until the appropriate water supply can be secured.

Resources to Reference/Experts to Contact

  • Municipal or private Utility Water Supply Planners and Engineers
  • Local Public Health Agency Staff
  • Sole Source Aquifers