After the events of September 11, 2001, Congress appropriated over $100 million to help drinking water systems assess their vulnerabilities to terrorist threats and develop response plans. As the Environmental Protection Agency has suggested, however, significant additional funds may be needed to support the implementation of security upgrades. Therefore, GAO sought experts' views on (1) the key security-related vulnerabilities of drinking water systems; (2) the criteria for determining how federal funds should be allocated among drinking water systems to improve their security, and the methods for distributing those funds; and (3) specific activities the federal government should support to improve drinking water security. GAO conducted a systematic Webbased survey of 43 nationally recognized experts to seek consensus on these key drinking water security issues.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||As EPA refines its efforts to help drinking water utilities reduce their vulnerability to terrorist attacks, the Administrator of the EPA should consider the information in this report to help determine: how best to allocate security-related federal funds among drinking water utilities; which methods should be used to distribute the funds; and what specific security-enhancing activities should be supported.|