The Triple Divide Watershed Coalition (TDWC) was formed in 2011 in Potter County, Pennsylvania, with support of a WREN Source Water Protection Collaborative Grant.
The Coalition is comprised of the public water systems in Potter and McKean Counties, with assistance from the Potter County Commissioners, Penn State Extension, Potter County Education Council, Potter County Planning Department, and the PA DEP.
Why Was the Source Water Protection Collaborative Formed?
“…everyone had the same goal in mind — our concern was protecting the water.” — Colleen Frank, Project Leader for the WREN Grant and Assistant Director of the Potter County Conservation District and TDWC coalition member. Potter had a Natural Gas Task Force in place, but many felt more needed to be done to assure safe drinking water for the 18,000 county residents (8,354 of whom are served by nine public water suppliers), and to maintain sustainable supplies for future generations.
A tradition of careful stewardship was nothing new to the water suppliers of Potter County. Due to their efforts over the past decade, they are the first and only county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to have a 100 percent participation rate with PA DEP-approved source water protection plans in place for all nine systems.
Potter County Commissioner Susan Kefover stated: “The strength of experience, resources and shared information are invaluable to the protection, proaction, and maintenance of our watersheds in the Potter County region. There is new life stirring among the individual organizations that join this coalition with such an important and broad mandate.”
Weeks after being applauded as a national model for protection of treasured watersheds, the Triple Divide Watershed Coalition based in Potter County, was awarded the prestigious 2012 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence in the “Building Community Partnerships” category.