Published: 05/10/2024

Friday May 17, 2024, 12:00pm-1:15pm 
Shriram Center for Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, Room 104
443 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305

Co-hosted by The Bill Lane Center for the American West & the Haas Center for Public Service
Featuring Dr. Greg Pierce
Director, Human Right to Water Solutions Lab, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation
Admission to this event is free and open to all. Please RSVP here to register. Light refreshments will be provided.

Tap water distrust has grown as a concern in the U.S. due to the Flint crisis and associated scandal, as well as growing evidence regarding the health, economic welfare, and broader well-being impacts of distrust. This talk focuses on the implementation and implications of a novel Tap Water Testing program which operated with 9 local community partners from 2019 to 2022 in the San Francisco Bay Area, to address tap water concerns among residents. The final Bay Area testing effort included 555 samples and 34,296 tests that looked at 142 distinct constituents of interest.Results illustrate the challenge of communicating drinking water quality risk in an accurate and compelling way, given that results can and are interpreted (and contested) differently by involved stakeholders. Given the unprecedented scale and community-driven nature of the program, we also identified several overarching lessons learned for future testing programs, and articulated the role of 7 key stakeholder groups in enhancing tap water trust more broadly.Results from this intervention will be situated in the context of the author and Human Right to Water Lab team’s published research which explores a series of related questions regarding tap water quality and trust, based on projects in partnership with community-based organizations, water systems, regulators and advocates in multiple regions of California, Colorado, New York, Louisiana, Michigan and Texas.