Research Reports

An Equitable Water Future: Opportunities for the Great Lakes Region



By Elizabeth Cisar, Senior Program Officer, Environment

At the Joyce Foundation, we understand that our region’s vitality depends on clean water in our lakes and streams, in our homes, and where we work. Whether you are raising a family, brewing beer, building cars, or growing soybeans, you need to know that you’ve got clean, safe water you can afford. Yet in our work, we’ve seen that in many parts of the Midwest, water systems are struggling to provide these fundamental services. Unfortunately, the stresses these struggles create often fall hardest on the shoulders of our most vulnerable people – rural communities, our elders, the very young, and low-income people, particularly low-income communities of color.

That’s why we supported, An Equitable Water Future, Opportunities for the Great Lakes Region. This report by the US Water Alliance describes how states, cities, community organizations, and water systems in our region are working to provide everyone with clean, safe, affordable water – and the challenges those efforts face.

We think this report is a first step toward identifying policies that can ensure that all of us can turn on a tap and get safe water to care for our families and to run our businesses. Just as our region has come together to advance strong policy for the Great Lakes, we have confidence in its ability to strengthen and improve our water systems, so they deliver for everyone.

Download the full report here.

Media Coverage


The U.S. Water Alliance held a congressional briefing on the report in March. For video coverage, please see below.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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