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EPA and states have entered the next phase in creating a modern data management solution for drinking water programs across the nation. Building on foundational analysis and planning, the project to modernize the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) has now shifted to system design and development.

Throughout the development phase, members of the SDWIS Modernization Board will continue to provide input and recommendations to EPA on requirements and design of the new system. The board recently updated its charter for the design and development phase to describe its role in validating business requirements, providing feedback on project plans and system functionality, and recommending any necessary adjustments to development plans. The Modernization Board will continue to draw on the principles of the E-Enterprise Digital Strategy to ensure that the new system is information-centric, responsive to customer needs, and built on flexible shared platforms.

EPA has been spearheading a number of recent activities in preparation for the system development work. In April, EPA selected James McCrystal of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to serve on a half-time detail as the EPA SDWIS Modernization Product Owner. McCrystal will coordinate with the EPA Project Team and SDWIS stakeholders to identify development priorities and gather user feedback on system functionality. EPA also selected a vendor to provide Mission Support IT services for the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water. The new contract includes tasking to develop a new Safe Drinking Water Information System.

In May, EPA formed a Technical Approach Review Team – with members from states, the Environmental Council of the States, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, and EPA’s regions, Office of Water and Office of Mission Support – to evaluate and consider different development approaches for the new system. The team delivered its recommendations to the SDWIS Executive Steering Committee and to the SDWIS Modernization Board in August. Once approved, EPA plans to reach out to the drinking water and data management communities in September or October on the plan.

EPA is also planning to host a centralized communications platform to improve transparency and stakeholder visibility into the SDWIS Modernization project. In the meantime, you can follow the latest news on SDWIS Modernization by signing up for monthly All-Things SDWIS meetings.