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Measuring Up:Grading drinking water quality, affordability, and transparency practices in Allegheny County Water Systems

Guy, Megan and Schroering, Caitlin and Bain, Daniel and Elliott, Emily and Gonzalez Rivas, Marcela and Maseru, Noble and Smith, Jackie and Donnovan, Dana and Musil, Talor and Roberts, Ava and Naccarati-Chapkis, Michelle and Hartwell, Maureen and Chaney, Chavaysha (2023) Measuring Up:Grading drinking water quality, affordability, and transparency practices in Allegheny County Water Systems. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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In April 2021, Women for a Healthy Environment published “Something’s in the Water: A System Analysis on Quality and Transparency in Allegheny County Community Water Systems”. This report, based on two years of effort, aimed to “identify issues faced by ratepayers, water systems, and public health officials alike.” Among the findings of 2021 report were alarming indicators of inequities in access to clean, affordable drinking water across communities and relatedly, vast differences in practices used by community water systems to serve their ratepayers.

As a consequence of these findings, a new collaboration between Women for a Healthy Environment and the Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory was formed to build upon these results and investigate whether 1) affordable and clean water was available to all residents across Allegheny County’s 36 community water systems, and 2) the extent to which these community water systems employ transparent practices in interacting with their ratepayers.

To advance equitable access to clean and affordable drinking water across all of Allegheny County’s residents, our team created standardized metrics to rate the performance of 36 individual water systems with respect to affordability, transparency, and water quality. Ratings were based on new information solicited from Allegheny County water systems and prior data collected in 2020 as part of the “Somethings in the Water Report”. This information and data were distilled into report cards for 36 individual community water systems with an environmental justice lens. This report documents that process, details the findings, and provides recommendations to move forward.


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Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Guy, Meganmegan.guy@pitt.edumegan.guy
Schroering, Caitlinchs203@pitt.educhs2030000-0003-3416-3441
Bain, Danieldbain@pitt.edudbain
Elliott, EmilyEELLIOTT@pitt.eduEELLIOTT0000-0002-9653-1513
Gonzalez Rivas, Marcelamarcela@gspia.pitt.edumarcela0000-0002-4311-4409
Maseru, Noblenam137@pitt.edunam1370000-0002-0121-8322
Smith, Jackiejgsmith@pitt.eduJGSMITH0000-0002-4808-0391
Donnovan, Dana
Roberts, Ava
Hartwell, Maureen
Monograph Type: Project Report
Date: 21 July 2023
Place of Publication: Pittsburgh, PA
DOI or Unique Handle:
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Geology & Environmental Science-Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Environmental Science
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Refereed: No
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2023 17:34
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 13:04


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