H2Outlook Virginia: The Path to Advancing Drinking Water Equity

Drinking water is essential for life, but reliable access to safe, affordable drinking water isn’t a guarantee.

More and more, we hear stories about the past and present water crises: from Jackson, MS, or Flint, MI, to the troubling drought in the American West, it’s clear our water systems are in trouble. Without adequate infrastructure, investment, and cross-sector collaboration, the drinking water challenges we face will only worsen.

Catalyst came to focus on drinking water rooted in the belief that Virginia can be the healthiest state in the nation. It started as our work often does – with an emphasis on oral health. We worked to support and maintain proper fluoridation in Virginia’s public drinking water so everyone can access this inexpensive and effective way to prevent cavities. Through this work, we began to understand that fewer people choose to drink their tap water, so we broadened our efforts to ensure equitable access to safe, affordable, and fluoridated drinking water that is trusted and preferred. As a result, the Water Equity Taskforce (WET), the only statewide collective of water advocates working towards a healthier Virginia by advancing drinking water equity, was born.

The H2Outlook: Virginia report provides recommendations and offers strategies to address drinking water challenges in Virginia. Catalyst staff and members of WET developed this report to provide a path forward for the commonwealth to ensure that more Virginians can drink, trust, and afford safe tap water. Click the button below to read the full report.