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EPA and states are cooperating in the planning and design of a centrally hosted Drinking Water State-Federal-Tribal Information Exchange System (DW-SFTIES) (formerly known as SDWIS Modernization). The process is being guided by the DW-SFTIES Board, which consists of state and EPA leaders in drinking water programs and enterprise information management.


State drinking water programs need support to oversee public health compliance at nearly 150,000 public water systems. To help, EPA has been providing states with Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) State software since the 1990s to reduce data management burden and promote national consistency in state implementation of the Public Water System Supervision Program under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This suite of software enables drinking water programs to: manage water system inventory information; receive and manage large volumes of system compliance monitoring data; manage sampling and monitoring schedules; determine candidate drinking water rules violations via Compliance Decision Support; and track enforcement. It also provides tools to assist with required quarterly reporting of violations, inventory, and actions data to EPA’s SDWIS Fed database. This software is in critical need of modernization.  


The DW-SFTIES Modernization effort, which aims to identify a technical solution that meets the needs of all stakeholders, employs a development approach that operationalizes the principles identified in the E-Enterprise Digital Strategy. This modernization effort is expected to reduce state data management work and enhance the timeliness and accuracy of drinking water data transferred among drinking water systems, primacy agencies, andEPA.  


The planning phase, completed in July 2020, included determination and selection of the best option for future modernization of the system. In this phase, the DW-SFTIES Board recommended (and EPA accepted) an EPA-hosted, centralized system. The pre-development phase kicked off in Fall 2020 and concluded in August 2021. The design phase was initiated the next month and ran until July 2022, followed by the development preparation phase. Accomplishments during this phase (August 2022–January 2023) include: 

  • August 2022: Launched the SDWIS Program Portal, where users can find DW-SFTIES project updates and submit tickets.
  • October 2022: Shared version 1 of the Concept of Operations on the SDWIS Program Portal. 
  • July 2022–January 2023: Worked with the EPA Office of Mission Support, Enterprise Hosting Division, and others to set up the different software environments. 


Next, the DW-SFTIES Team will commence development (2023 – 2025). The key milestones in this phase will be: 

  • The State-EPA User Acceptance Testing Team will provide ongoing requirements and testing during Agile system development. Iterative releases will be shared with the drinking water community.  
  • The DW-SFTIES Team will complete its analysis of remaining system components/services and continue planning support resources for primacy agency transition.  
  • The DW-SFTIES Board will provide quarterly oversight, and the user community will periodically be invited to review the system in progress.  
  • The DW-SFTIES Executive Steering Committee will also perform an iterative review and receive updates of the DW-SFTIES project development milestones and requirements.