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Hoosier Water Guardian

Hoosier Water Guardian

The Hoosier Water Guardian program recognizes those communities who go above and beyond the minimum state standards for Wellhead Protection and Source Water Protection. It is a voluntary initiative for all community public water supplies that depend on groundwater for all or part of their drinking water. Through the Hoosier Water Guardian program, community public water supplies receive recognition for local efforts to protect their residents and the environment.

Hoosier Water Guardian is an optional program administered by IDEM. Applying for and/or receiving an award does not replace the need to submit a Phase II Wellhead Protection Plan. This program is strictly voluntary and is designed to recognize those communities who go above and beyond the minimum requirements to ensure that their residents are provided with the safest and cleanest drinking water possible.

Benefits of Participation

  • Your community’s drinking water is better protected, at its source, as a direct result of the actions you take.
  • Earn State Revolving Fund priority points for future projects by becoming a Hoosier Water Guardian.


Your community will be recognized as one that goes above and beyond the standards for wellhead protection. This recognition shows your community is one who values and cares about its water resources, and the health of its citizens.


Many organizations are ready to collaborate with your community:


Sharing ideas and techniques for outreach events, educational programs, workshops, and other implementation strategies can help ease the burden on volunteers and maximize efforts. Reach out to other communities to see what they have done in their communities. IDEM has some resources available for communities to borrow for outreach events.

Communities may also wish to reach out to other communities to share what activities, methods of communication, ordinances, or zoning policies have worked or could use improvement to better protect their community’s drinking water.

How to Qualify

Your community gains points for the activities it executes.

Examples of Qualifying Activities

  • Adding a local ordinance to protect water resources, including wellhead protection areas
  • A well represented Local Planning Team, that meets regularly
  • Promoting good land use practices
  • Monitoring known contamination sites to minimize impact and to ensure cleanup
  • Preparing for spills and accidental releases
  • Partnering with solid waste agencies, conservation groups, and watershed organizations to assist in the proper management of waste and potentially contaminating substances
  • Educating students on the vulnerability of their water supply

How to Apply

Communities can either apply through IDEM or through the Groundwater Foundation.

Through IDEM

Download the application form from the IDEM Agency Forms page. Mail the completed form with applicable documentation, photos and updated plans to the Office of Water Quality.

Through the Groundwater Foundation

Communities can apply for automatic consideration with the Groundwater Guardian Program and will receive 30 points toward their Hoosier Water Guardian application.

Review Process


If your community has been involved in activities over the past five years that further the protection of your drinking water, IDEM wants to recognize you as one of our heroes, as a partner striving to improve our environment, and as a “Hoosier Water Guardian.”

Hoosier Water Guardian applications can be reviewed annually rather than every five (5), seven (7), or ten (10) years as required in the state’s Wellhead Protection rules.

Your community is eligible to receive a Hoosier Water Guardian award every five (5) years.


Your community will be evaluated for one of two awards based upon the amount of steps taken, the implementation of innovative strategies, and the application of your plans. A complete list of evaluation criteria are found on the Hoosier Water Guardian application.

Hoosier Water Guardian Awards

Winning Scores

Hoosier Water Guardian (Above Average)

  • Fixed Radius Delineation Method, Total Score 34 – 45
  • Modeled Delineation Method, Total Score 48 – 59

Hoosier Water Guardian with Distinction (Excellent)

  • Fixed Radius Delineation Method, Total Score 46 – 83
  • Modeled Delineation Method, Total Score 60 – 100


Your community’s Hoosier Guardian award will be included here on IDEM’s website. When your community qualifies for a Hoosier Water Guardian award you have the option of receiving one or more of the following to display your accomplishment in your community:

  • A metal 11” x 13” sign with the Hoosier Water Guardian logo
  • A pack of static window clings with the Hoosier Water Guardian logo
  • A CD with the Hoosier Water Guardian logo

Awards Ceremony

Fall Awards Ceremony

Applications received between January 1 and July 31 will be considered for a fall awards ceremony.

Spring Awards Ceremony

Applications received between August 1 and December 31 are considered for a spring awards ceremony.


If you have questions about the Hoosier Water Guardian application, please contact the Groundwater Section.

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