Water Conference Session 1

Equity & Access

Diverse Communities and the Challenges of Infrastructure


About this session

Equity & Access: Diverse Communities and the Challenges of Infrastructure brings together a panel of water experts and community leaders working across the country and the globe to bring equitable water access to communities in need. These panelists have approached a variety of infrastructure challenges, from reservoirs to kitchen sinks, each in their own way. Join us to learn how their approaches are different, what they have in common, and how their insights can help us tackle the complexities of water access issues facing the nation and the world today.

Panel Discussion

On Tuesday, October 27, at 7:00 PM CDT panelists Gary White, Emma Robbins, Siddhartha Roy, and Tracy Streeter joined conference moderator David Gallo for a lively discussion of the challenges of infrastructure in diverse communities, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Meet the Panelists

Siddhartha “Sid” Roy served as a student leader and communications director of Virginia Tech’s 45-member Flint, Michigan water research team, leading part of a scientific and humanitarian battle alongside Flint residents to uncover environmental injustice and a public health crisis. Dr. Roy earned his bachelor’s of technology in chemical engineering from Nirma University in India and master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering and civil engineering respectively from Virginia Tech. 

Gary White is co-founder and CEO of Water.org and WaterEquity.org. He leads these organizations to create and execute market-driven solutions to the global water crisis. Gary’s entrepreneurial vision drives innovations in the delivery and financing of water and sanitation projects. These innovations now serve as a models for the water and sanitation sector.

Emma Robbins is director of the Navajo Water Project, which provides infrastructure that helps Navajo families access running water in New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. According to the project, Native American households face barriers to accessing clean water, including about 30 percent of families on the Navajo reservation. Robbins joined the project after growing up in an area with a high concentration of water poverty. She is a Diné artist and uses her work to raise awareness about the need for clean water across all Native American nations. She is also an Aspen Institute Health Communities fellow.  

Tracy Streeter joined Burns & McDonnell in 2018 in a new role providing consulting and project development support for water resource agencies and municipalities with public water utilities. Streeter served 33 years in positions related to Kansas water resource management, including 14 years as director of the Kansas Water Office (KWO), where he was responsible for water resource management and planningdrought declarations, and other state-wide management issues. During his tenure at KWO, Streeter served as chairman of the governor’s Drought Response Team, and in 2013, he was appointed to co-lead the development of a 50-Year Water Vision for Kansas

Start Learning

Get to know each panelist and the work they are doing with these short introductory videos. 

Explore Further

Explore the themes of the session further with recommended resources from Linda Hall Library, more from our panelists, and other resources.

Further Reading at the Linda Hall Library