WaterWelcome to the Homepage for the National Tribal Water Council (NTWC), an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded project!

The NTWC has identified its purpose in its bylaws:

“The NTWC was established to advocate for the best interests of federally-recognized Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, and Tribally-authorized organizations, in matters pertaining to water. It is the intent of the NTWC to advocate for the health and sustainability of clean and safe water, and for the productive use of water for the health and well-being of Indian Country, Indian communities, Alaska Native Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.”

We hope that you will continue to visit the NTWC website as it evolves to better meet the needs of all who are interested in clean and healthy water and healthy Tribal communities.

Now Open: FY 2017 Tribal Competitive Clean Water Act Section 319 Grant Request for Proposals

Some important dates for the FY2017 competitive grant period:

Competitive Grant RFP Information Sessions:

December 13, 2016  4-5:00pm Eastern

December 21, 2016 2-3:00pm Eastern 

Registration information has been posted to the Tribal NPS website

January 6, 2017 – deadline for Tribes to submit questions about the RFP

January 25, 2017 (11:59pm Eastern) – Tribal 319 proposal deadline via Grants.gov

EPA is soliciting proposals pursuant to Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) from eligible tribes and inter-tribal consortia to develop and/or implement watershed-based plans and on-the-ground projects that will result in significant steps towards solving Nonpoint Source (NPS) impairments on a watershed-wide basis. Eligible entities are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that develop and/or implement watershed-based plans designed to protect unimpaired waters and/or restore NPS-impaired waters. Eligible tribes and inter-tribal consortia may apply for competitive funding by submitting a proposal for up to a maximum budget of $100,000 of federal CWA section 319 funding (plus the additional required match of the total project cost).

EPA anticipates awarding an estimated $2.5 million in federal funds, depending on Agency funding levels, number of tribes requesting section 319 funding, the evaluation of proposals, and other applicable considerations, to eligible tribes and inter-tribal consortia which have approved NPS assessment and management programs and Treatment-in-a-manner-similar-to-a-State (TAS) status as of October 14, 2016


USGS: Field and Laboratory Guide to Freshwater Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are often dominated by cyanobacteria that produce a variety of toxins that can negatively affect fish, wildlife and people. The Native American and Alaska Native communities nationwide are likely to have direct contact with potentially toxin-laden water through traditional uses and many are dependent on subsistence fishing and have an increased risk of exposure to these cyanotoxins. Exposure to these toxins can cause a range of effects from simple skin rashes to liver and nerve damage and even death, although rarely in people. The issue may be increasing in importance, as scientists indicate warming global temperatures may exacerbate the growth of HABs. The USGS responded to this recognized threat by producing the publication: Field and laboratory guide to freshwater cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1164, 44 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151164.

Contact for sending samples or questions: Barry Rosen, brosen@usgs.gov; phone: 407-803-5508

Barry H. Rosen, Ph. D.barry

United States Geological Survey
USGS-Office of the Southeastern Regional Director
12703 Research Parkway
Orlando, FL 32826

He was born and grew up in rural Connecticut and earned his Bachelors of Science in Botany from University of Connecticut and received a Ph. D. in biology from the Bowling Green State University.  He has worked in the field of algae more than 40 years, with emphasis on understanding harmful algal blooms.  He has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Southeastern Region since 2006 and is the SE Regional Tribal Liaison.  He recently published Field and Laboratory Guide to Freshwater Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities, available for download: http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151164.

He is isolating cyanobacterial bloom species from various lakes and rivers to determine if they possess toxin production genes and is actively seeing live samples from Tribal waters.


Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 at 3:00 pm ET (12:00 a.m. PT)

Introduction to Reporting Limits
Featuring a presentation by Beverly H. van Buuren, QA Researcher, Marine Pollution Studies Laboratory


Reporting limits (RLs) are crucial to environmental project planning and the production, review, and assessment of analytical data. A failure to consider RLs in any of these stages may result in data that are neither scientifically nor legally defensible.

Because each environmental project has a unique set of objectives, analytical capabilities, and applicable regulations, it must also have unique RLs for each of its target analytes and parameters. This course will give an introduction to the process for establishing project-appropriate RLs, and will clarify the relationship between RLs and related terms like method detection limits, minimum levels, practical quantitation limits, and action limits. Finally, it will identify key lines of communication between project, field, and laboratory personnel.

  • The webinar will be offered on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 at 3:00 pm ET (12:00 a.m. PT).  Pre-registration is REQUIRED for this event.  To register, please click here and register.  Once your registration has been approved, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the Webinar.
  • If you miss the webinar and would like to view them later, please visit our YouTube page to view our archive of webinars, or, visit our website for more information.


U.S. EPA Considering Replacing All Lead Water Pipes

In a white paper released at the end of October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it is considering replacing all lead service lines. It’s one of several regulatory options being considered as part of the agency’s upcoming revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR). EPA is also mulling over whether to require drinking water utilities to identify the number and location of lead service lines in their system and if partial line replacements should be limited or prohibited.

According to EPA’s Joel Beauvais, the white paper also addresses “improving optimal corrosion control treatment requirements, consideration of a health-based benchmark for household-level interventions, the potential role of point-of-use filters, clarifications or strengthening of tap sampling requirements, increased transparency, and enhanced public education requirements.” Many of these topics and options were developed based on recommendations from the agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council and the Science Advisory Board.

A revised LCR is expected to be proposed in 2017.

Lead and Copper Rule Revisions: White Paper, October 2016


Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goal

Tribal Environmental Justice GAO Request


Full Letter

The National Tribal Water Council with assistance from USET and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Collaborate to Establish Method for Tribal Baseline Water Quality Standards.  (Click below for more information.)

EPA Baseline Water Quality Standards White Paper Final