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Assessing Community Ownership and Pride in Tribal Water Services

Water systems that serve Alaska Native and American Indian Tribes struggle to provide safe and sustainable water services. Billions of dollars have been invested in providing community piped water systems and individual wells, but little has been contributed to support a well operated and maintained safe and sustainable system, resulting in Tribes not realizing the maximum health benefits of their sanitation systems. It is hypothesized that an increase in a community’s sense of pride and ownership in their water service would encourage effective water system use and management.

The National Tribal Water Center within Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Water Institute at UNC will measure the degree to which Tribal members and Tribal governments feel a sense of ownership and pride in their water service, determine if a lack of ownership and pride can be linked to common challenges facing water systems that serve Tribes, and explore motives that could be used in future education-based interventions. This work will contribute to increased consumption of treated water, decreased EPA Safe Drinking Water Act violations, sustainable operating and management of systems, increased willingness to pay for the services provided, and lower rates of water-related disease.

Water Institute Researchers

Jamie Bartram – Principal Investigator

Urooj Amjad – Lead Researcher

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