Risk Communication: Water Talks

Developing Risk Communication Strategies To Communicate The Quality And Safety Of Tucson's Water

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In 1942, aircraft facilities in Tucson, Arizona began improperly disposing of trichlorethylene (TCE). This contaminant started leaking into the groundwater, which lead to contamination of public drinking water. Tucsons history of water contamination in By acknowledging Tucson's history of water contamination, as well as other contamination events such as in Flint, Michigan, the WaterTalks program aims to create a risk communication model to aid Tucson Water to more effectively disseminate water safety information to the community.


The WaterTalks program utilizes focus groups in order to gather participants’ feelings and perceptions about the quality of their tap water. These focuse groups are conducted in two age groups (High School students,18-29, 30-54, and 55 and older). Recruitment for these focus groups takes place within the Tucson community and on-campus at the University. The results of these focus groups provides valuable information on how Tucson Water will communicate water safety to the public.