204059 Water, water everywhere…

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:30 AM

Terry Mason, MD, FACS , Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Damon Arnold, MD , Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield, IL
Stephen A. Martin, PhD, MPH , Chief Operating Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park, IL
Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, MA, CPH , College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Larry Johnson, MPH , Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc., Atlanta, GA
In 1885 in Chicago a cholera and typhoid epidemic killed 90,000 Chicagoans when a heavy storm washes sewage into Lake Michigan, the city's source of drinking water. Five years later sanitary engineers reversed the flow of the Chicago River to prevent a recurrence of epidemics, giving the city the world's only river that runs backward.

Today, the United States Drinking is blessed to have one of the safest water supplies in the in the world. More than 30% of Americans depend on public drinking water systems that use ground water. However, what would happen if our supply of drinking water was threatened and who would suffer the most. As recently as December 21, 2008, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that since Lake Sidney Lanier hit a record low about a year ago Atlanta had been offered an ‘apocalyptic peek at metro its drought-drained water source'. In 2008, metro Atlantans cut their summertime water use by as much as one-third and wintertime use between 5 percent and 14 percent.

While this may seem like an isolated incident, it's important to note that while over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water that 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water and that 20% of the world's surface fresh water can be found in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system.

This expert panel will explore the implications of this situation from a public health perspective.

Learning Objectives:
*Describe the role of water in maintaining the publics health *List issues of equity and disparity aroiund access to water *Identify 2 strategies for developing collaborations and partnerships to improve access to water

Keywords: Health Disparities, Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In my 25 years of clinical practice and 3 years as Commissioner of Health for the city of Chicago I have organized and conducted numerous oprograms of this nature on a local, national and international level
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.