89.1 WEMU

1st Friday Focus On The Environment: Access To Clean And Safe Water During COVID-19

Apr 3, 2020

Elin Betanzo, founder of Safe Water Engineering
Credit Safe Water Engineering / safewaterengineering.com

The COVID-19 outbreak has yet to reach its peak, and one of the challenges all too many people face is  access to clean water.  In this month's edition of "1st Friday Focus on the Environment," Elin Betanzo, founder of Safe Water Engineering joins WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak about the ethics and policy of ensuring water access.  

Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters
Credit Michigan League of Conservation Voters / michiganlcv.org

Lisa’s career spans over two decades of environmental and conservation advocacy in the political arena.  She is a nationally- recognized expert in non-profit growth and management and a leader in Great Lakes protections.  Lisa is a three-time graduate from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelors Degree and two ensuing Masters Degrees in Social Work and Education.

Lisa serves a co-host and content partner in 89.1 WEMU's '1st Friday Focus on the Environment.'

About Elin Betanzo:

Elin Warn Betanzo is the founder of Safe Water Engineering LLC, a small consulting firm working to improve access to safe drinking water through engineering and policy consulting.   

In August of 2015, Elin played a critical role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis by encouraging Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a Flint pediatrician, to conduct a study that discovered elevated lead levels in children living in Flint, Michigan.  Elin continues to work on lead and drinking water policy at federal, state, and local levels.  Current projects include working with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to establish their lead service line replacement program, improving public education about lead in drinking water, and helping water utilities comply with the federal and state lead and copper rules.

Elin has nearly 20 years of experience working on drinking water science, engineering, and policy issues.  She worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water writing and implementing national drinking water regulations, for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission where she led water system master planning and hydraulic modeling, and for the Northeast-Midwest Institute leading their Safe Drinking Water Research and Policy Program.

Elin holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and a Water Quality Management Certificate from Virginia Tech.  She also has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Piano Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.  Elin is a Professional Engineer registered in Michigan, Maryland and Virginia, and a certified water system operator in Maryland.  She served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Water Information from 2014-2017.

Resources:

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Safe Water Engineering

"Opinion: Water access urgent in Detroit during outbreak" by Elin Betanzo and Sylvia Orduño

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu