Clean Water Advocacy

Building a Local and Vocal Clean Water Movement


Access to clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right and should never be put on the back burner. Yet, year after year reports show that the Potomac's waters - the same water that flows to your faucet - are threatened by toxins, chemicals and nutrients carried by pollution from agriculture, industry, and stormwater runoff.

And these problems are only getting worse as climate change makes extreme and erratic weather events occur with more frequency, putting further strain on our shorelines and waterways.


Help us hold our leaders accountable for keeping clean water a top priority!

When you Take an Action > today, you'll be joining a rich community of 17,000 members and online activists who are fighting to ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities.  

We fight to restore water quality by advocating sound policy and promoting thoughtful land management.

Our impassioned base of river advocates drives our efforts to advocate for, and successfully urge passage of, river-friendly land use policies that have broad impact on water quality. Learn more about our full Plan for the Potomac >


Green Infrastructure
Deforestation and development pressures increase the levels of polluted runoff - the fastest growing contributor to the declining health of the Potomac. Each time it rains, chemicals, toxins, and sediment flow off the lands and impervious surfaces and into our waters. Trees protect our waters by serving as a natural filtration system that soaks up excess rainwater. Offering both a natural and economic way forward, Potomac Conservancy promotes local land use policies that safeguard and enhance urban tree canopy and green spaces.

View our 2014 DC Milestones Assessment > to learn more about the District of Columbia's progress toward meeting its pollution reduction goals. 

smart growth.png

Smart Growth
Population growth and the infrastructure to support it have led to a perilous rise in polluted urban runoff in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.  And census projections predict our region will grow by an additional 2 million people in the next 20 years, putting a further strain on our waterways.  While we cannot control population trends in the region, we can control the way in which we grow with strategic community planning that promotes green spaces and stormwater runoff management.


Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Home to working farms and lively communities, our region's rural lands are an important part of our cultural heritage. Potomac Conservancy advocates for robust state and federal investment to support the implementation of conservation practices on farmland, also known as, Best Management Practices (BMPs). In this way, we are helping to ensure our well-managed family-owned farms are both productive and river-friendly.


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, and local decision-makers. We also work with the community as a whole, providing the tools and information needed to encourage civic engagement.