Water surrounds the DC region. It flows through the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, pounds down Great Falls, stills and reflects in the Tidal Basin, and surges in the Chesapeake Bay. Clean, drinkable water has been pouring through DC pipes and taps for 150 years, since the Washington Aqueduct began operation in 1863.
Preserving that tradition of clean, drinkable, and available water means protecting not just the human-built infrastructure of water mains, aqueducts, treatment plants, and dams but also the natural systems of wetlands, wildlife, and water plants. Nature plays a vital role in filtering our water and keeping humans healthy and safe.
The Nature Conservancy protects clean drinking water across the Potomac watershed in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Using novel - often innovative - techniques, we’re working to ensure clean water for our region for at least another 150 years, and generations beyond.
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Keeping our water clean is a job for everyone - even kids! Explore
Help us count down the ways we can all help ensure our drinking water is safe. 150 ways
How does this behemoth of an operation work and what role does nature play in supporting it? To answer this, we did our homework. H2O Facts
How many people know the answer? We took to the streets to find out. Launch video
Protecting Maryland's lands and waters for over 60 years. Find out how
Working to preserve the quality - and quantity - of drinking water in Virginia. Explore
TNC's Potomac River director Stephanie Flack explains how important the nation's river is to people and wildlife in the Washington metro region. Explore
10 Things you should know about the Potomac watershed. Find out more
See how The Nature Conservancy is protecting the Potomac Watershed and the quality of life in this region. Video
Take a virtual tour of the Potomac Gorge. Video