Drinking Water Promotion Project
BANPAC implemented the Drinking Water Promotion Project (DWAPP) in pursuant of Assembly Bill 746 to increase equitable access to safe drinking water in CA schools. In January 2017 California State Water Resources Control Board issued a permit amendment to support K-12 schools to get their water tested for lead for free. Most of the Bay Area schools did not meet the eligibility criteria for the state funding that followed. With the receipt of grant from Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit, DWAPP Water Committee was convened to bring together school district administrators, public health and water researchers, local health departments, water agencies, policy specialists, lead agencies, health advocates and more to advise the work.
DWAPP recruited 10 school health champions from 11 schools across 3 Bay Area Counties to educate students, staff, and parents on water safety and health benefits of drinking tap water. The creative and enthusiastic school champions successfully promoted water using peer-to-peer education to over 10,000 students who demonstrated a change in drinking habits by filling their water bottles with water or spa water instead of their usual colorful sugary drinks. Toolkits and resources were compiled and shared for communication with schools, water remediation and water promotion. Two models emerged from this work – one for water testing and the other for water promotion. The success of the project was presented at American Public Health Association’s conference and Public Health Advocate’s Summit in 2018.