BALTIMORE, MD (May 7, 2012)
- Drinking water is vital to our public health and to the economy in Maryland. Today, Maryland celebrates the beginning of Drinking Water Week, which builds on past successes to fulfill the public health goals of the Safe Drinking Water Act and renews our commitment to ensure safe and adequate drinking water for all Marylanders. This national observance, celebrated during the week of May 6-12, 2012, highlights the value and role of water in our daily life.

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During Maryland Drinking Water Week, we recognize the importance of protecting and preserving our precious water resources, and acknowledge the value and fragility of one of our most important natural resources. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is responsible for ensuring that public drinking water systems provide safe and adequate water to all present and future users in Maryland, and that appropriate usage, planning and conservation policies are implemented for Maryland's water resources.  This commitment is accomplished through proper planning for water withdrawal, protection of water sources that are used for public water supplies, oversight and enforcement of routine water quality monitoring at public water systems, regular onsite inspections of water systems, and prompt response to water supply emergencies.  MDE’s activities help to ensure safe drinking water for more than 5.7 million Marylanders.

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Join AWWA in celebrating drinking water this week.

Core Facts
  • Maryland citizens are served daily by more than 3,400 public drinking water systems
  • On a daily basis, every Marylander relies on these public water systems (whether large or small) to provide a safe and dependable supply of water for drinking, cooking, washing, manufacturing and industrial use, lawn watering, or growing vegetables
  • Marylanders pay around $.04 a gallon for drinking water from the tap v. nearly $1.50 per gallon of water at the store
  • Number of Maryland systems using surface water: 59
  • Number of Maryland systems using only groundwater: 3,373
  • Of all the Earth’s water, most is ocean or sea (97%). About two percent of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable. That leaves a little less than one percent of the Earth’s water suitable for drinking water


"This year is the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act, a landmark piece of environmental legislation that has done more to clean up our streams, rivers and bays than any other piece of federal legislation. Each year, but especially this year, we must all renew our commitment to the safety and sufficiency of our drinking water."

--Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

"Maryland is working together with the EPA on a National Drinking Water Strategy as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act to strengthen public health protection from contaminants in drinking water. Celebrating National Drinking Water Week is one more way to spread the word on the protection and safety of our drinking water."

--Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

Additional Information



Maryland Drinking Water Week Proclamation National Drinking Water Week

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Samantha Kappalman

Jay Apperson

(410) 537-3003

About MDE
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.