Loading Episode...
Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities - Michael Hancox EPISODE 15
A Holistic Approach to Drinking-Water Infrastructure [U.S. Water Crisis Part Three]
00:00:00 00:27:08

A Holistic Approach to Drinking-Water Infrastructure [U.S. Water Crisis Part Three]


Water Sustainability in Urban Areas


[02:09] Introduction of Dr. Tamim Younos.

[02:44] Tamim describes the scope of the problem of the water crisis and the number of Americans who lack access to safe drinking water.

[05:37] Tamim shares about water testing.

[08:04] Are certain geographic areas or populations more likely to be impacted by the lack of proper water infrastructure?

[09:30] What kind of implications does the lack of access to clean water and wastewater facilities have on families and communities?

[10:54] What are some common health issues related to lower-quality drinking water?

[12:40] Tamim explains what the Green Water-Infrastructure Academy is doing about the problem of unsafe drinking water.

[17:38] Tamim describes the obstacles of getting a broader knowledge of the policies that are needed.

[20:11] How can people learn more and support the Green Water-Infrastructure Academy’s work?

[20:54] Tamim shares what motivates him to do this work and why this work is important to him.

[21:45] Tamim discusses the frequency of the issues of poor and lacking water infrastructure in the U.S.

[23:19] Tamim shares one change that would lead to smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable communities.

[24:40] Tamim explains the action that listeners can take to help build a more equitable and sustainable future.

[25:17] Tamim shares what water infrastructure looks like 30 years from now.


Dr. Tamim Younos is Founder & President of the Green Water-Infrastructure Academy. Dr. Younos earned a doctoral degree in urban and environmental engineering from the University of Tokyo. His research and educational interests include watershed assessment, sustainable water management systems, and water-energy nexus in urban environments. Dr. Younos has authored/co-authored more than 150 publications and has edited five books: “Advances in Watershed Science and Assessment” (Springer 2015) “Potable Water: Emerging Global Problems and Solutions (Springer 2014), “Climate Change and Water Resources” (Springer, 2013); “Total Maximum Daily Load: Approaches & Challenges” (PennWell Books 2005), “Advances in Water Monitoring Research” (Water Resources Publications 2003). Dr. Younos is a former Research Professor of Water Resources and Interim Director of Virginia Water Resources Research Center at Virginia Tech, and a past President of the Cabell Brand Center for Global Poverty and Resource Sustainability Studies, a nonprofit organization.


The Green Water-Infrastructure Academy is a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. The mission of the Academy is to enhance human health and quality of life in global urban environments by promoting green water-infrastructure research, education and outreach programs. The Academy promotes a paradigm shift toward a holistic approach for sustainable management of water resources in global urban environments. The Green Water-Infrastructure Academy activities include awarding competitive grants to support green water infrastructure research and development, developing and coordinating partnerships between academia, governmental entities, nonprofits and private sector to support green water infrastructure projects, sponsoring green water infrastructure educational and outreach opportunities, and encouraging policy discussions pertinent to implementation and regulation of green water infrastructures.


“We have public water systems, like the one in Flint, Michigan, and then we have private water systems; and the public water systems serve about 86% of the population, which is about 260 million people in the United States, and the remaining is served by private water systems, which is about 45 million people.”

“The public water systems, such as the one in Flint, are regulated by the U.S. EPA, so they’re supposed to measure 94-plus water-quality parameters when it leaves the treatment plant.”

“The water is tested at the time it is leaving the water-treatment facility, and it travels through the pipelines, which sometimes are corroded and sometimes they’re falling apart, to the households and other facilities. So the tap water is not tested that often because utilities reporting to the EPA, the water which leaves that utility, and the tap water is not tested that often; and if it’s tested, then we find lead problems or other problems.”

“In 2008, there were about 19.5 million cases of waterborne diseases reported in the United States—19.5 million—and about 76% of these cases attributed to the private water wells. So it means that the remaining, which is 24%, can be attributed to the public water supplies, which are mostly small systems.”


Episode 013: Access to Safe Drinking Water in Rural America [U.S. Water Crisis Part One] – In this episode, we speak with the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. (SERCAP) about the impact lack of access to safe drinking water has on the health and economies of rural communities and the approach SERCAP is taking to remedy these dire situations.

Episode 014: Climate Change and Storm Water Utilities [U.S. Water Crisis Part Two] – In this episode, we speak with Matthew Naud, Environmental Coordinator for the The City Of Ann Arbor about how climate change is affecting storm-water systems and the innovative steps Ann Arbor is taking to meet the challenge.

Green Water-Infrastructure Academy


Thanks so much for joining us. Have some feedback or an idea you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave an honest review for Infinite Earth Radio on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful and greatly appreciated as it helps us expose this show to a wider audience – plus, we read each and every one of them!