Guarding Our Water Supply


Environmental laws protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we inhabit. While significant progress has been made since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established 50 years ago, federal, state, and local officials face daunting challenges in enforcing the nation’s environmental laws.

Despite improvements, serious violations are widespread across all programs and industry types, and current monitoring relies largely on self-reporting. As a result, tens of millions of Americans are exposed to pollution hotspots and unsafe drinking water. But the risks to people aren’t equally shared. For example, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) estimated in 2013 that over a quarter of the waters supplying the state’s community groundwater systems are contaminated, disproportionately affecting poorer, rural, and communities of color.

Guarding Our Water Supply is a project run by Stanford's Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab (RegLab) and federal and state EPA agencies to build a program for clean water and environmental compliance. By working in partnership, the team hopes to transform a fifty-year-old regulatory system with data-driven insights and to create environmental protection for all.


Brandon Anderson, RegLab Head of Data Science

Elinor Benami, Co-PI, Virginia Tech, Agricultural and Applied Economics

Daniel E. Ho, PI, Law, Political Science, SIEPR, HAI, Director of the RegLab

Colleen Honigsberg, Co-PI, Law, SIEPR

Rosemary Knight, Co-PI, Geophysics, Woods Institute

Nicole Lin, RegLab Research Fellow

Dan Palmer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Deborah A. Sivas, Law, Director, Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program, Director, Environmental Law Clinic, Woods Institute

Jenny Suckale, Co-PI, Geophysics, Woods Institute

Christine Tsang, RegLab Executive Director

Reid Whitaker, RegLab Graduate Student Fellow