Who We Are
We are an independent, multidisciplinary group of professionals that care deeply about water quality, the environment and public health. We have a broad range of expertise, with backgrounds in water treatment, epidemiology, toxicology, public health, and risk analysis.
Council Chair, Former Chief Executive Officer at Water Research Foundation
Rob Renner led the Water Research Foundation from 2005- February 2019. Under Renner’s leadership, the legacy Water Research Foundation successfully transitioned from primarily a drinking water organization to focusing on the entire water sector, and then the integration with WE&RF. Prior to joining WRF, Robert was the Executive Director of the International Society of Automation and served as Deputy Executive Director of the American Water Works Association. He has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant optimizing water treatment plant performance. He holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in sanitary engineering from South Dakota State University.
Director of Research at the Kyl Center for Water Policy, Arizona State University
Kathryn Sorensen oversees the research efforts of the Kyl Center for Water Policy, teaches Arizona Water Policy for the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, and contributes to the Global Futures Laboratory. As Director of Phoenix Water Services until October 2020, she was responsible for the reliable delivery of safe, clean drinking water in a desert city of nearly 1.7 million inhabitants. Previously she served in the City of Mesa for many years as a water resource manager. Kathryn earned a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Michigan. Kathryn’s service in water management includes Member of the Arizona Water Banking Authority Commission, Member of the Arizona Colorado River Reconsultation Committee, Member of the Board of Directors of the Water Research Foundation, Member of the State of Arizona’s Colorado River Steering Committee, Advisory Committee member of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, Member of the EPA’s Effective Utility Management Utility Leadership Group, and Member of the Rates and Charges Subcommittee of the American Water Works Association.
President, Corona Environmental Consulting
Chad Seidel is President at Corona Environmental Consulting, LLC where he brings his more than 15 years of consulting experience serving the drinking water community. He has been engaged with California water utilities regarding groundwater and inorganic contaminant treatment. Chad has a diverse range of experience providing large and small drinking water utilities with process and design engineering services, from optimization of existing conventional treatment processes to the application of advanced treatment processes for controlling emerging contaminants. Chad is a Registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.S. in environmental engineering from Montana Tech.
President, Joseph Cotruvo & Associates
Joseph Cotruvo served as the Director of the EPA Drinking Water Standards Division from 1976- 1990. He was also the Vice President for Environmental Health Sciences, NSF International and a member of the Board of Directors for the DC Water and Sewer Authority. He is currently the President of Joseph Cotruvo & Associates and is active international water quality and health business. His specialties include water quality and risk assessment, water treatment technology, product development, water chemistry, regulatory policy, desalination, and nutrients in water. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Ohio State University.
Division Chair and Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry at University of Washington-Tacoma
Dr. Joyce Dinglasan-Panlilio joined the UW Tacoma faculty in 2007. She is on the state of Washington Department of Ecology advisory board for PFAS. As an environmental organic chemist, her research focuses on investigating sources, transport and fate of emerging organic contaminants in the environment. She has pioneered studies and published articles on various indirect sources of perfluorinated chemicals to the environment. These are chemicals used in the manufacture of the non-stick polymer Teflon and related compounds. Environmental monitoring of emerging contaminants such as chemicals used in personal care products (PCPs) around the Puget Sound region is also an active area of her research. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Toronto.
Associate Professor of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Manny Teodoro currently serves as the Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working at the intersection of politics, public policy, and public management. Manny focuses mainly on U.S. environmental policy and implementation, including empirical analyses of environmental justice. Manny has developed novel methods for analyzing utility rate equity and affordability, and he works on these issues directly with governments and water sector leaders across the United States. He attended Cornell for a MPA, and he earned a PhD in Public Policy & Political Science at the Ford School at the University of Michigan.
Mission & Values
Our mission is to provide clarity and context to drinking water utilities and policy makers, public health professionals and the public to help navigate complex issues and assure protection of our nation’s drinking water supply.
Safe drinking water is a human right
The Water & Health Advisory Council agrees with the United Nations that access to safe, accessible, and affordable drinking water is a basic human right. Our nation has taken great strides to ensure safe drinking water for all, but there is more work to be done.
Science-based risk analysis must inform all decisions connected to the provision of safe drinking water
Billions of dollars are spent each year to maintain and upgrade U.S. drinking water systems. The Water & Health Advisory Council believes that the decisions to determine how this money is spent must be based on the best available science on risks to our drinking water.
Prioritizing public health for all
Safe, clean drinking water is the foundation of public health. Policymaking and government funding for drinking water must prioritize public health benefit for the greatest number of people. This includes investments to underserved communities which is vital to achieving water equity throughout our county.
READ MORE ABOUT OUR MISSION & VALUES
We advocate a risk-based approach to identifying and addressing the challenges associated with delivering safe drinking water to Americans, including emerging contaminants.
Clean and safe drinking water is one of the most important public health achievements in modern history. In the United States, our water quality is threatened by aging infrastructure, waterborne diseases and emerging contaminants. Addressing these challenges and providing a safe and reliable tap water supply for all Americans must remain a top priority for policymakers.
Meeting this vital public health challenge requires careful risk- and cost-benefit analysis, assembly, examination and clear communication of the best health science and technology information, and critical evaluations of policy, priorities and options. At a time when government funding must be deployed to address a broad range of national crises and issues, resources allocated to protect our drinking water supply must be carefully spent.
Our mission is to provide clarity and context to water policy makers, public health professionals and the public to help them navigate complex issues and assure protection of our nation’s drinking water supply from all valid threats. We must follow the best available science and focus on the issues that present the greatest risks to water quality and public health in the United States.
We provide clear scientific information about the highest priority water and health issues dominating the national conversation.
Our nation’s drinking water infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. This is not breaking news. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our underground water system a C- and their economic study found that the annual drinking water and wastewater investment gap will eventually grow to $434 billion by 2029.
Microbial contaminants are known drinking water threats that have immediate and potentially deadly impacts on human health and wellbeing. These contaminants cause waterborne diseases and are responsible for many different types of illnesses—including respiratory illnesses, neurological illnesses, skin problems, gastrointestinal illnesses, and bloodstream infections.
Our nation’s water systems have limited resources, funding, and operational capacity. As such, a national standard must be fully substantiated by toxicity and occurrence data before water systems are required to direct more funding and resources towards PFOS/PFOA monitoring. We urge lawmakers to consider a science-based approach to the regulation of PFOA and PFOS.
We analyze emerging scientific research on water quality and public health issues. Our analyses will reflect the best available science, taking full advantage of the wide range of expertise among the Advisory Board members.
We create easy to understand summaries, fact sheets and infographics that officials can take back to their communities to communicate clearly and effectively about potential public health risks and solutions.
Our members are available to provide training workshops or seminars at the request of state and local officials.
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Disclosure Statement: The Water and Health Advisory Council provides drinking water and public health professionals with information and assistance to help inform decisions necessary to deliver safe, clean and affordable drinking water. All persons who meet authorship criteria for published work are listed as authors on our website. All authors certify that they have participated sufficiently in the writing to take public responsibility for the content. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the entire Council.