Water Access

Ensure access to safe drinking water throughout the day at no cost to students.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Water Availability During National School Lunch Program Meal Service (July 2011)


Schools are required to make water available during the National School Lunch Program meal service. This memorandum provides guidance on implementing this provision in the law.

Water Access in Schools – Model Wellness Policy Language (2012)

National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity.

This Web page includes information to help a school district make fresh drinking water available during mealtimes in school food service areas at no cost to students. Resources include sample district policy language for water access; examples of how schools across the country have partnered with other agencies and private companies to fund drinking water programs; and a fact sheet offering strategies for schools to make drinking water more available and guidance for parents, teachers, and community members to get involved.

Strategies for Improving Access to Drinking Water in Schools (October 2014) (PDF | 284 KB)

CDC. Bridging the Gap.

This research brief highlights areas where wellness policies address water accessibility and summarizes policy actions taken by public school districts across the nation. Use this brief to identify areas of opportunity for your school.

Increasing Access to Drinking Water in Schools (2014)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This tool kit helps schools make the healthy choice the easy choice for all students by ensuring access to free drinking water as an alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages before, during, and after school. The easy-to-use tool kit includes needs assessment tools, implementation strategies, and evaluation guidance to improve access to drinking water as part of a healthier nutrition environment in schools.

Water Access in Schools

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This Web site provides a general overview of requirements, recommendations, and resources on water access in schools.

Drinking Water in Schools & Child Care Facilities

US Environmental Protection Agency.

This one-stop Web site provides information about drinking water quality in schools and child care facilities, including information on lead in drinking water.

Water and Nutrition

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This Web page provides information on the importance of water for health.