Clean Water Advocacy

Access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right and should never be compromised.


Building a Local and Vocal Clean Water Movement

Potomac Conservancy's Clean Water Advocacy program empowers a community of grassroots activists to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. We protect the Potomac by advocating for clean water policies, promoting river friendly growth, and restoring local waterways.

We're holding local leaders accountable for keeping clean water a top priority.

Restoring the river to full health is not just an environmental issue. It's a matter of public health. The Potomac River provides drinking water to over 5 million people in the Washington, DC metro area. The same waters that flow out of our faucets are threatened by toxins, chemicals, bacteria, and nutrients. These pollutants come from agriculture, industry, and polluted runoff, which is the fastest growing source of pollution to the Potomac. 

Local, on-the-ground action coupled with state-led protections continue to be our best chance to save the Potomac and local streams. Now more than ever, the Potomac River needs local voices to stand up, show up, and speak up for clean water.

Take action today >

Get Vocal: Tell your elected representatives that clean water matters!

Your legislators need to hear from YOU! Contact your elected representatives today and urge them to do everything in their power to reduce local water pollution and protect our lands and streams.

Here are the top issues we’re working on to protect and defend your water

© William Macfarland, courtesy of

© William Macfarland, courtesy of

Nature-based Solutions

Polluted runoff from urban and suburban communities is the fastest growing source of pollution to the Potomac. Each time it rains, chemicals, toxins, and sediment flow into our waters from parking lots, roads, and rooftops. Trees, rain gardens, bioswales, and other nature-based solutions protect our waters by naturally filtering and slowing pollution before it reaches streams and creeks. We fight to safeguard and enhance urban tree canopy and green spaces, offering both natural solutions and economic opportunities for our communities.

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River Friendly Growth

By 2040, an estimated 2.3 million new residents will move into our region. Rapid urbanization propels forest loss at 70 acres per day and threatens the future health of the Potomac's lands and waters with increased pollution from runoff. Local communities have a say in how and where they grow. We engage with local leaders to plan for the future through river friendly development that prioritizes green space, limits sprawl, and protects our creeks and streams.

River Friendly Growth >


Diverse Coalitions

Change doesn't happen on its own. It takes the collective voices and actions of a diverse community to drive and achieve progress. To leverage our impact, Potomac Conservancy actively pursues partnerships among diverse interests including other watershed partners, national parks, community groups, businesses, faith organizations, and local decision makers. We promote active and consistent civic engagement, encouraging citizens to make clean water a priority issue for their elected representatives.


Potomac River Report Card

In our 10th edition of the State of the Nation's River report, the Potomac River has earned its highest grade ever! The river's roaring back to life, but there's trouble on the horizon...

Dive into the #PotomacReportCard and learn what’s going right and wrong for our hometown river.

Potomac Report Card >