Environmental Health Education and Promotion Initiative to Develop Technical, Managerial and Financial Capacity in Communities Served by Small Water Systems

EPA Grant Number: U915817
Title: Environmental Health Education and Promotion Initiative to Develop Technical, Managerial and Financial Capacity in Communities Served by Small Water Systems
Investigators: Guerrero-Preston, Rafael E.
Institution: University of Puerto Rico - Central Administration
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: July 1, 2000 through July 1, 2003
Project Amount: $67,981
RFA: Minority Academic Institutions (MAI) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Earth Sciences - Environmental Science , Earth Sciences - Geology


The research goal is to develop environmental education materials/strategies that raise community consciousness around the issues of source and drinking water protection. This contribution can be replicated in other culturally diverse, low-income communities in the United States and Latin America.


This research is focused on the development of a multidisciplinary framework for environmental health education and promotion strategies in culturally diverse, low-income communities. Drawing from recent experiences in the field of health promotion, emphasizing the social determinants of health, an ecological approach is proposed to community empowerment in selected non-Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (PRASA) communities during a sustained environmental health education and promotion intervention. Utilizing a broad and multiple sectors approach to community development, this work integrates communities, private water systems' operators and administrators, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies in this empowerment effort.

Expected Results:

Barriers to capacity development exist in non-PRASA communities with differing levels of community organization around the issue of drinking water quality. This research is expected to answer the following questions: Which are the narratives and meanings that engage the community in a capacity development effort for their small water system? What barriers are most prominent in determining the perception of risk by community members? How do we convey research findings and regulatory requirements to community residents in a persuasive and effective manner? What environmental education strategies are most effective in developing a "sense of place" to the members of the community, particularly the children? How much are parents and society willing to pay to reduce water-borne pathogenic illnesses, particularly related to children's health?

Supplemental Keywords:

environmental education, environmental health promotion, community empowerment, small water systems, capacity development, health narratives and meanings, risk perception, water-borne pathogen control, social determinants of health., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Water, Health Risk Assessment, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, genetic susceptability, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Drinking Water, Sociology, Urban and Regional Planning, community empowerment, environmental awareness, socioeconomics, small systems, community awareness, low income community, water quality, environmental health education, other - risk management

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • 2002
  • Final