Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Drinking Water Access through a Transdisciplinary Lens Public Deposited

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  • Drinking water access is a global concern. While drinking water is widely available in much of the U.S., there are still vulnerable communities that lack access, which signifies the presence of inequity in drinking water access distributions. In response, this research sought to explore solutions and develop reconnaissance-level plans to address inequities in drinking water access in the U.S. By using a transdisciplinary lens of inquiry to examine drinking water access for the residents of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the author described the water access landscape, generated and evaluated potential technical solutions, proposed potential policy pathways to facilitate the implementation of the technical solutions, and finally discussed the feasibility of the long-term assurance of drinking water access for the residents based on societal values and ethics. The results included a collection of options for planning. The research revealed that drinking water access was challenged through political factors that influenced water infrastructure failures. In order to ensure drinking water access, stakeholders must incorporate ethics and value-based policies into technical and planning actions. While drinking water access can be ensured in the short-term through the technical and political solutions and plans identified in this research, the long-term sustainability of the assurance of drinking water access is uncertain due to a lack of institutionalized ethics and values. While some findings of this research can be applied to other vulnerable communities in the U.S., the author urges caution because each community is different and warrants individual analysis before the implementation of any technical or political actions.
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