ASTHO Releases New Drinking Water Preparedness Report

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently published a new report on the state of water preparedness. This report is based on the results from a 2018 survey of state and territorial directors of public health preparedness and environmental health. The intent of the survey was to learn more about their protocols, tools, and resources for drinking water preparedness, as well as identifying gaps.

Good news – the survey found that almost three-quarters (73.8%) of the responding jurisdictions include drinking water emergencies in their public health preparedness/all-hazards preparedness plans. Imagine a major metropolitan area with a loss of water service to a major hospital and the disruptions that would ensue. The challenge now is to increase that percentage, as well as increasing the coordination between public health, environmental health, and emergency management agencies, and the drinking water systems. The data in this report shows the complexities of water preparedness and identifies both areas of strength, as well as areas that need improvement in a timely manner.