WaterSC - Information Sharing & Analysis Center

Frequently Asked Questions


WaterISAC Pro

WaterISAC Basic 

WaterISAC Pro

 What is an ISAC?

Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) are confidential venues for sharing security vulnerabilities and solutions within an industry. Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 63 and Executive Order (EO) 13231 designated the water sector (and other industry sectors) as critical to the nation’s well-being and called for the establishment of ISACs to promote the flow of security information. Additionally, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7) encouraged the creation of private sector information sharing and analysis mechanisms, such as the WaterISAC, to protect drinking water and wastewater infrastructure from attack.

What does WaterISAC Pro offer?

WaterISAC Pro is an Internet-based, rapid notification system and information resource about threats to America’s drinking water and wastewater systems. It is the only centralized, up-to-the-minute resource of its kind serving the water sector. WaterISAC Pro functions as a highly secure subscription service that gathers and quickly disseminates alerts, expert analysis and other information specific to the water community.

What are the key benefits of subscribing to WaterISAC Pro?

    WaterISAC Pro’s unique position as the central clearinghouse for threats to the water sector provides utilities with unparalleled added security and therefore serves as a key component of due diligence for any drinking water or wastewater system. It is the one common link in the flow of information about water security to and from utilities and federal homeland, intelligence, law enforcement, public health and environmental agencies.

    All government alerts about potential or real threats to the nation’s water sector are quickly disseminated to WaterISAC Pro subscribers around the clock. Utilities no longer have to worry about experiencing a threat or an actual incident that could have been avoided by more immediate notification.WaterISAC Pro subscribers are contacted by email and telephone if a specific threat is discovered in their geographic region. 

    Above and beyond gathering and distributing secure, time-sensitive information, WaterISAC Pro also provides immediate expert analysis of threats to the nation’s water systems and identifies trends. Raw information about security threats distributed by law enforcement and government agencies often fail to provide comprehensive detail about how a threat may impact a drinking water or wastewater system. WaterISAC Pro's analysts are intelligence gathering experts. They rapidly produce valuable assessments of how a threat may specifically impact the water community, identify trends and suggest mitigating actions.

    The WaterISAC Pro Online Library (with a robust search capability) offers subscribers a superlative compilation of data about vulnerabilities, emergency response, training opportunities, security solutions, research and government policy. Subscribers can rapidly study chemicals and potential contaminants, review past and current threat information, utilize vulnerability assessment tools and explore security solutions.

Who runs WaterISAC Pro?

The WaterISAC Pro is governed by a Board of Managers comprised of water utility leaders who are appointed by eight major U.S. drinking water and wastewater organizations.

How long has WaterISAC Pro existed?

The service went online at www.watersc.org in December 2002.

How is WaterISAC Pro funded?

With Congressional support, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the WaterISAC Pro with an annual grant. This is augmented by subscription fees paid by drinking water and wastewater systems.

Who subscribes to WaterISAC Pro?

More than 1,000 individuals, including CEO's and General Managers with security-related job responsibilities, at hundreds of drinking water and wastewater systems nationwide – large and small.

What are the technical requirements for obtaining electronic access to WaterISAC Pro’s secure portal system?

      • 133 MHz or higher CPU
      • Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system
      • Minimum 64 MB of RAM (128 MB of RAM preferred)
      • Minimum 2 GB hard disk (4 GB preferred) with 650 MB of free space
      • Internet Explorer 6.x or higher (preferred), or Netscape version 7.x or higher

How much does it cost to become a subscriber?

Service* Population Annual Fees for Primary User Annual Additional Fees per User
Over 100,000






Less than 50,000



*Fees for joint wastewater and drinking water utilities are based on the greater of the two service populations. Utilities owning multiple systems subscribe based on population served per state.

Why is there any subscription fee for WaterISAC Pro?

Although WaterISAC Pro is a nonprofit organization, subscription fees help to offset costs not covered by funding provided by the EPA grant. Those costs include: hosting the secure portal; employing administrative staff and specialists; maintaining and constantly enhancing a vast library of water-related information; and disseminating alerts.

How does my utility become a subscriber?

All drinking water and wastewater systems in the United States, Canada and Australia may subscribe to WaterISAC Pro. Water system managers and security officers can speak with a WaterISAC Pro customer service agent by calling (toll-free) 1-866-H2OISAC (1-866-426-4722) or download an application online.

After application, how long does it take for activation?

New users are equipped and activated within 2-3 weeks after WaterISAC Pro receives their completed application.

How will any data or incident reports submitted to the WaterISAC Pro by my utility be shared or used?

Information submitted by a utility will not be shared with any other subscribers or intelligence gathering agencies without prior permission.

How secure is WaterISAC Pro Secure Internet Portal and facility?

The portal is VERY secure from any unauthorized access. The online operation is hosted in a government designated "top secret" security clearance facility. Additionally, the system is protected through state-of-the-art, cyber security techniques. That also includes constant monitoring for unauthorized attempts to use or alter the system.


WaterISAC Basic

What is the difference between WaterISAC Basic and WaterISAC Pro?

WaterISAC Basic is an entry level service of the WaterISAC. WaterISAC Basic electronically disseminates bulletins and advisories issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies. WaterISAC Basic maintains a secure Internet library of federal advisories accessible through subscription. It is a partnership between the water sector and federal government that is a free service which the entire water sector is encouraged to participate in.

WaterISAC provides officials in the water sector access to an ultra-secure knowledge base, alerts and advisories from the federal government and non-federal intelligence agencies, three contaminant databases, white papers on various water security topics, access to vulnerability assessment tools, a bulletin board for secure communication among members and a wide variety of other highly valuable services.

How is WaterISAC Basic funded?

WaterISAC Basic is partially funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

How does WaterISAC Basic obtain its information?

The information disseminated from the WaterISAC Basic is distributed by WaterISAC Pro. The information is generated from Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal and non-federal intelligence agencies.

How much does the WaterISAC Basic service cost?

WaterISAC Basic is a free Federal advisory service. All water and wastewater utilities are encouraged to participate in this free service.

How do I contact the WaterISAC Basic Help Desk?

You can reach us through a toll-free number, or via email. Please see the Contact Us page for details.

Who runs the Help Desk?

The Help Desk is run by an independent contractor, who also maintains the WaterISAC website.

WaterISAC Basic Mail Processing

How do I know if my organization's mail host is processing email from the WaterISAC Basic as spam?

To ensure that important email notifications are being processed properly please visit www.watersc.org and log on to WaterISAC Basic with your email and password. If you have not been receiving the alerts listed under the "messages" tab through your email account then the email alerts have improperly been identified as spam.

Inform your IT administrator or Internet Service Provider that emails originating from watersc.org are not spam and should not be filtered.

How can I keep my mail host from my treating WaterISAC Basic email notices as spam?

WaterISAC Basic can distribute notices to any mobile device, as long as it is able to receive email. This will allow you to receive an indication that a notice has been distributed to the WaterISAC Basic subscribers. You can then log on to the WaterISAC Basic website to read the full notice content.

Can I sign up my mobile device (pager/cell phone/blackberry/etc.) to receive alerts?

If you have a compatible device and text messaging service, you can sign up a new WaterISAC Basic account with your mobile device's dedicated/specialized email address. In the "Additional Info" field, please enter the following:

"MOBILE DEVICE: Linked to {your current account email}"

This will speed the activation process for the account.

Many service providers provide you with the capability to receive text messages on your mobile device. (Certain additional fees may apply to your mobile service; see your service provider for details.) If the service provider gives you a dedicated/specialized email address, then your mobile device may be capable to receive WaterISAC Basic notices.