Community-Engaged Research

Community engagement

  • Engage with local partners and experts to better understand and address small water system problems to ensure sustainable, affordable, and equitable water quality for Appalachian Ohio.
  • We aim to understand historical and current issues of water quality, system management, affordability, perceptions, and use in the communities.
  • Through these partnerships and outcomes, we will work collaboratively to execute strategies that sustainably and equitably address issues of tap water quality in the context of our human and natural systems.

Water testing

  • Incorporate community scientist sampling during individual and/or group meetings to sample tap water at consumer faucets.
  • Through partnership with the water utility, sample source water, and treated drinking water ┬ádirectly from the municipal or private water treatment plant.
  • Samples will be analyzed for microbial and chemical water quality parameters (including microbial communities using handheld DNA sequencing, regulated microbial indicator species such as E. coli, total and chlorine, metals, disinfection byproducts, and other organics/inorganic species).

Cognitive mapping and systems modeling

  • We will integrate water testing results with mental modeling data for use in combined systems modeling, which will investigate relationships between mental modeling data, socioeconomic data, water quality data, and data of current assets in the water systems.