Triple Divide Watershed Coalition Taking Shape

From Potter County Today

sourcewaterRepresentatives from public water suppliers across Potter County met last week to continue organizing the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition. Its goal is to protect public water sources from potential degradation from natural gas well drilling or other disturbances, through a combination of public education, communications with industry, and/or regulations. The group derives its names from the county’s unique geographic distinction as the headwaters for three major Northeastern U.S. watersheds. Water from Potter County flows north to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, south to the Ohio and Mississippi, and east to the Atlantic.

Penn State Extension educator Jim Clark showed coalition members a documentary on the importance of protecting source water and laid out a plan to bring a watershed education program to local schools. By forming the coalition, public water system managers in Potter County will be able to share best practices and speak with a unified voice on proposed legislation and regulations/enforcement issues. Coalition members will also investigate options for the county or municipal governments to limit industrial activities such as natural gas drilling in close proximity to public water sources and recharge areas. Another goal is to have designated source water protection zones included on the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Index so that energy companies will be aware of them when plotting sites for drilling.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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