Catalyst is committed to ensuring all Virginians have equitable access to safe, trusted, affordable, fluoridated water, and that it's their beverage of choice.
It Started with Fluoride
Virginia Health Catalyst wants everyone in the commonwealth to be as healthy as possible. Drinking clean and safe water is essential to being healthy. In the oral health community, we know that drinking tap water that contains the proper amount of fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, can reduce cavities in children and adults and keep teeth strong.
Community water fluoridation (CWF) is an effective and equitable way to make properly fluoridated water available to as many people as possible. Populations across the country have been enjoying the oral health benefits of CWF for over 75 years, saving health care costs for both families and the health care system.
Learn more about CWF
Catalyst and local partners are working to advocate for and protect CWF in Virginia. See more about this work, and how to get involved.
Water Equity Issues
Most Virginians have access to clean water and may not think twice about the water coming out of their tap. But that isn’t the reality for everyone.
See how safe water is an issue of health equity by exploring the topics in the circle on the right.
These challenges of safety, affordability, and access to resources disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income individuals.
The US Water Alliance highlighted these issues in more detail, and identified promising practices that have emerged to make water systems more equitable; read the report here.
Water Equity Taskforce
While Virginia legislators have declared that water is a human right, inequities persist across all spheres of the water sector – access, cost, safety, and education.
Catalyst convenes the Water Equity Taskforce (WET), the only statewide group working to address these challenges from a public health lens. WET is a cross-sector group of invested stakeholders, working to ensure water in Virginia is equitably accessible, safe, trusted, and fluoridated, and that people want to drink it. The group identifies strategies to:
- Address access issues related to race and income inequities;
- Improve water literacy;
- Fund water systems and infrastructure; and,
- Encourage water consumption.
Water equity means all individuals have equal and fair access to quality drinking water that they can trust.
The Water Equity Taskforce is developing recommendations to guide the future work of this group. Informed by partner expertise, previous water projects, policy research, and data, the WET members will develop concrete, actionable next steps through a collaborative process with input from partners. These recommendations will include:
- Policy change needs
- The unique challenges for both public and private water
- State leadership and administration partnerships
- Technology updates
- Data improvements
- And more!
If you're interested in learning more about water equity or joining the WET, contact Elliot Popoff for more information.