Assessing State Preparedness for Water-Related Public Health Events Open Access

Vigar, Marissa Kay (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/2n49t2270?locale=en
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Abstract

Background: Recent responses to drinking water-related public health events, such as water-associated illness and utility failure, suggest that there is a gap in state drinking water preparedness capacity. Studies assessing preparedness in a standardized process are few, and resources regarding preparation for drinking water public health events are even more lacking. With aging water infrastructure, the complexity of water-related public health events, and an increasingly variable climate, drinking water preparedness is a priority for public health. This goal of this study is to assess possible associations between supplementary, water-directed preparedness funds and level of state drinking water preparedness. Methods: States were assigned a drinking water preparedness index score through a web-based evaluation of state preparedness resources. Ordinal logistic regression was used to investigate associations between presence of water-directed preparedness funding and level of drinking water preparedness. A secondary investigation used existing climate preparedness index scores to examine similarities between state drinking water preparedness and climate preparedness. Results: While not statistically significant, states with water-directed funding were more likely to score in higher preparedness categories (Odds Ratio= 1.560, 95% Confidence Intervals= 0.488, 4.989). In addition, state drinking water preparedness scores and climate preparedness scores adapted from States at Risk were in 88% agreement in state scoring outcomes when including a 1-level degree of variation. Conclusion: The results suggest a need for further investigation of a possible association between state drinking water preparedness and water-directed funding. This study suggests that adding clear priorities in funding mechanisms may improve state capacity-building and preparedness.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Background…………………………………………………………..1

Methods………………………………………………………………………………..11

Results……………………………………………………………………………...….17

Discussion………………………………………………………………………..........23

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….25

References…………………………………………………………...…………...…...27

Appendix………………………………………………………………...………...….30

Evaluation and Coding Guide………………………………………...……....33

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