Tennessee Public Water Operator Survey
The Tennessee Public Water Operator Survey project is a community-based participatory research project. For this project, DWJL members partnered with the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Tennessee Department of Health to create and implement a statewide survey that asks frontline water professionals to assess their systems’ technical, managerial, and financial capacity. During this project, the team developed the Tennessee Operator Advisory Committee (OAC). The OAC is a group of seven water professionals who work alongside university researchers and provide feedback on each step of the research project, increasing the rigor and validity of the study. The goal of the study is to understand the challenges facing community water systems in Tennessee in order to help develop solutions alongside industry stakeholders to create a more sustainable water industry. One important way the findings of this study will be disseminated is through infographics targeted at myriad stakeholders including public policy makers, industry leaders, and public consumers.
Research Assistants: Kayla M. Anderson (Lead Research Assistant)
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yolanda J. McDonald
- Paxton, C.*, Anderson, K.M.*, and McDonald, Y.J. (2022). The water sector industry workforce: A quantitative case study, Tennessee, USA. Utilities Policy, 76, 101356.
- Paxton, C. (2020). Retaining an essential workforce: A quantitative analysis of workforce retention factors among water operators in Tennessee [Undergraduate honors thesis, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University].
- Anderson, K. M. (2020). Understanding the impact of technical, managerial, and financial capacity challenges on community water systems and water quality in Tennessee [Master’s thesis, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University].
- Anderson, K. M. and McDonald, Y. J. Operators Know Best: Utilizing Public Water System Operators to Understand Technical, Managerial, and Financial Challenges Facing Community Water Systems in Tennessee, (paper: presenter). Organized by Anderson, K. M. and McDonald, Y. J.; Discussant: VanDerslice, J. American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference, April 2021, Virtual.
- McDonald, Y. J. and Anderson, K. M. A Community-Based Participatory Research Approach: Collaborating with Key Tennessee Drinking Water Stakeholders to Understand Community Water Systems, (paper: presenter). Applied Geography Annual Conference, October 2019, Charlotte, NC.
- Anderson, K. M. on behalf of the Vanderbilt Drinking Water Justice Lab (March 2022). Key Findings from the Tennessee Public Water Operator Survey [Presentation]. Annual Tennessee Association of Utility Districts Technology Conference, Knoxville, TN.
- Paxton, C., Anderson, K.M., and McDonald, Y.J. on behalf of the Vanderbilt University Drinking Water Justice Lab (Spring 2021) The Tennessee Public Water Operator Survey. Tennessee Utility News; Technology Issue (35), 36-39.
- Anderson, K. M. and McDonald, Y. J. on behalf of the Vanderbilt Drinking Water Justice Lab (Spring 2021). Partnering with Tennessee Water Professionals: Mapping Community Water Systems and Operator Survey Key Findings [Presentation]. Annual Tennessee Association of Utility Districts Technology Virtual Conference, Virtual.
- Tennessee Public Water Operator Survey Infographics.