In times of crisis it is more important than ever to understand the experience of the most vulnerable. But in-person research has been suspended due to COVID-19 and online surveys leave out 3.5 billion people who do not have access to internet. Global funders and sector leaders, spanning multiple sectors and countries, pivoted quickly to […]
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the critical role that drinking water and wastewater systems play in protecting human health, but it also highlights long standing inequities. Good hygiene is foundational in fighting the spread of the virus. But it’s hard to wash your hands when you don’t have access to clean water. 3 billion people, 40% of the world’s population, lack access to this basic human right. That’s only part of the problem, nearly a billion people experience only partial access or regular shutoff when they do have piped water. And millions are at risk for total shutoffs as they no longer can afford their bills.
Zoom into the United States – more than 2.2 million Americans lack access to clean running water and basic indoor plumbing. And it’s no accident that these places tend to be communities of color. Be it in rural towns of Kentucky, cities like Flint and Detroit, or SOCAP’s backyard – the Central Valley of California, countless people face this inequity.
These stories of communities struggling to maintain basic sanitation due to a lack of clean water underscore the need for solutions. We need to think about the technologies, business models, and policies that can create lasting impact for those struggling with access to safe and affordable water in the United States.
Imagine H2O, the global water innovation accelerator and nonprofit, will lead a session on the following:
- Brief introductory presentation by Imagine H2O around the water’s significance to public health and community resilience
- A panel conversation between experts around opportunities and barriers to equity and access in the United States
- Roundtable discussion with panelists and attendees on how to harness, amplify, and invest in solutions to water access and equity
Scott Bryan, Imagine H2O
Catherine Flowers, Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise
Orianna Bretschger, Aquacycl
Lynn Broaddus, Broadview Solutions
Laurel Firestone, California State Water Resources Control Board
Margaret Bowman, Spring Point Partners