Ensuring unimpeded access to safe, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater services for all people is a fundamental pillar for any advanced, sustainable society. But this is still not always the case for all resident in all communities across the US. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, in partnership with the US Water Alliance, leading Pittsburgh community-based organizations and academia worked to develop and recently released a proposed equity roadmap, “An Equitable Water Future Pittsburgh.”
Water-related challenges disproportionately affect low-income people and communities of color and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit communities of color at much higher rates than white communities, has only amplified their severity. The Pittsburgh Equity Learning Team, which is part of the Water Equity Taskforce, worked for two years to uncover systemic disparities and point to potential solutions that can ensure a better and more equitable water future for all residents alike. This roadmap offers recommendations in five key areas – water quality and environmental health, sustainable stormwater management, affordability, workforce development, and water equity – that were shaped through a collaborative effort involving diverse stakeholders city-wide. You can learn more about what went into developing the roadmap as well as see the emerging recommendations here.