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Community Partners

A core principle of the Drinking Water Justice Lab (DWJL) is to collaborate with stakeholders. Our collaborative spirit and research rationale are motivated by the principles of community based participatory research. The DWJL partners with our stakeholders to understand, measure, and assess U.S. drinking water to inform equitable public health policy to ensure community water systems have the resources to meet their technical, managerial, and financial capacity needs to ensure a safe and affordable drinking water supply for all.

Our primary partners include:

  • The Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD)
  • The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH)
  • The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC)

The DWJL is currently collaborating with these partners to:

  1. Construct a geospatial repository of Tennessee public water systems (i.e., federally regulated drinking water supplies).
  2. Validate non-regulated drinking water supply locations (i.e., private drinking water supply).
  3. Measure and assess the needs of  community water systems’ technical, managerial, and financial capacity, as experienced by drinking water professionals, to develop training opportunities and programs to meet identified needs.
  4. Refine our understanding of Tennessee drinking water supplies and health outcomes.

The Tennessee Association Of Utility Districts (TAUD)

The mission of Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD) is to improve the quality of life in Tennessee by providing education, advocacy, operational and technical support to the public water, wastewater, and natural gas utilities within the state.


“The DWJL has proven to be an important asset to the mission of TAUD and its utility membership. The lab has provided valuable opportunities for our members to engage in the vital work of the joint efforts created from engagement with DWJL, TDEC and TDH. I am continually impressed by the good work, knowledge, and commitment of the DWJL participants.”

– Bob Freudenthal, Executive Director
Tennessee Association of Utility Districts

The Tennessee Department Of Environment & Conservation (TDEC)

The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) exists to enhance the quality of life for citizens of Tennessee and to be stewards of our natural environment.



“The DWJL principles and goals align with and support the TDEC mission. The work of this partnership will benefit the citizens of Tennessee and have lasting impacts to the TN Drinking Water Program.”

– David Money, Environmental Fellow
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Division of Water Resources

The Tennessee Department Of Health (TDH)

The mission of Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee.



“The DWJL is a valued partner in understanding determinants of health and in furthering our drinking water preparedness and waterborne response capacity through the GIS repository. Understanding the access to public water supply, the population served by unregulated drinking water systems and health outcomes are critical to our mission.”

– Judy Manners, Environmental Health Specialist
Tennessee Department of Health