The Kansas Water Vision plan calls for an evaluation of uses of lower-quality water in the state so the Kansas Health Institute conducted a health impact assessment to examine how municipal water reuse might affect the health of state residents. The study analyzed seven factors related to water reuse that could affect health in Kansas: water availability, community sustainability, water quality, community perception of water quality, consumption of beverages other than municipal water, costs and utility rates, and guidance and regulations. The report recommended that policymakers and relevant agencies consider social, economic, and environmental factors to maximize potential health benefits and mitigate potential negative health impacts associated with water reuse. The HIA team also recommended developing clear and consistent regulations to ensure that treatment systems efficiently produce high-quality water, creating long-term community water plans, identifying financing mechanisms to reduce the burden of increased costs on low-income residents, and engaging with communities throughout the decision-making process.
The HIA report has sparked legislator interest in the health impacts of water reuse and has spurred a larger conversation about clean water access and public health. The report’s findings received local media coverage.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.