“NRWA takes cybersecurity very seriously, and is committed to raising the bar for awareness, education and support for water professionals.” — Matt Holmes, NRWA CEO

There are more than 145,000 active public water systems in the United States (including territories). Of these, 97% are considered small systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning they serve 10,000 or fewer people.

In the field of cybersecurity, guidance is often too complex or difficult to act. Experts provide lists of 20 or more points that need to be investigated, and many of these require specialist skills. Specialist service providers are often driven by their own business interests, focusing their services on technology at the expense of people and process. NRWA will focus on simple guidance and practical steps that will help all members better manage their cybersecurity risk.

NRWA is developing a plan for a comprehensive continuous cyber education program that will help all small and rural water and wastewater systems better manage their cybersecurity risk, by:

  • Creating a multi-stage training program that targets guidance based on risk along with the technical ability and capacity of systems.
  • Focusing on training Circuit Riders, the key NRWA field experts who are best placed to sustain the ongoing effort needed to manage the cybersecurity risk.
  • Integrating with other initiatives around water sector cybersecurity to ensure that time, effort, and funds are used to best effect.

NRWA and WaterISAC

In February 2024, NRWA and Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) announced a formal cybersecurity collaboration. With their partnership, WaterISAC and NRWA will work to educate rural utilities across the country about cyber and physical security issues and how they can become more resilient.

As a part of this partnership, systems serving 3,300 population or fewer are eligible for a free WaterISAC membership.

Eligible NRWA members will receive WaterISAC’s Security Resilience Update (SRU). This twice-weekly newsletter is the water sector’s most comprehensive information source on cyber and physical threats to its utilities. In addition, those members will also have access to WaterISAC’s monthly Threat Briefing webinars and its extensive Resource Center, in addition to access to WaterISAC’s H2OSecCon conferences at the member rate.


National Rural Water Association and WaterISAC Collaborate to Benefit Small Water Utilities NationwideLearn More
AWWA, NRWA Renew Call for Collaborative Approach after EPA Withdraws Cybersecurity RuleClick Here
EPA Withdraws Cybersecurity Rule MemoClick Here
NRWA – EPA Releases Cybersecurity Stay Press ReleaseClick Here
Safe Drinking Water Act InformationLearn More
America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA)Learn More
Vulnerability AssessmentLearn More
Free Resources – IronTech SecurityLearn More