Summer Research Position – Water Quality

Are you interested in getting involved in water advocacy for communities in the Deep South? Are you a current law student or graduate student? If so, keep reading!

One Voice plans to conduct an extensive, multi-state research project that will highlight funding disparities and spending inconsistencies in addition to any correlations that emerge during the analysis related to water systems. The project intends to focus on nine states within the southeast region – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Snapshot:

  • The summer project will specifically be based in Mississippi.
  • Housing will be covered.
  • There will be some paid opportunities.

Questions?

For full details of the project see the description from the concept paper below:

SOUTHERN STATES
WATER QUALITY ACCOUNTABILITY RESEARCH PROJECT CONCEPT PAPER

In the wake of the Flint water crisis and the national attention on urban municipal water systems, what is needed now is a comprehensive analysis on oft-neglected rural water systems in low wealth communities in the Deep South. It is a well-known, but unfortunately not a well-documented reality, that while many states receive federal funds for water system infrastructure repairs or updates most do not spend the funds for that purpose. All too often, it is low income, rural areas and communities that suffer from this discreet reallocation of funds.

To shed light on this practice and begin to generate solutions, One Voice proposes to conduct an extensive, multi-state research project that will highlight funding disparities and spending inconsistencies in addition to any correlations that emerge during this analysis. This project would focus on nine states within the southeast region. These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The project would start with a summer internship program for advanced students including, but not limited to study areas of urban planning, engineering, and law. There will be twenty to thirty interns involved and each will work for a minimum of four weeks conducting their work from Jackson and Columbus, Mississippi or from a remote location. The work itself will proceed through three phases: research, analysis, and report.

During the RESEARCH phase, this project will:
Research federal administrative remedies through review system
Track federal funding for each state as it applies to funds acquired for the stated purpose of infrastructure/water system repair and update

  • Track how the above federal funds were actually used within the state
  • Identify characteristics of the areas/counties/communities cited to acquire the federal funding (specifically identifying those which are persistent poverty counties)
  • Identify characteristics of the areas/counties/communities affected by the state’s expenditure (specifically identifying those which are persistent poverty counties)
  • Identify remedies

During the ANALYSIS phase, this project will:

  • Map which areas were used to acquire funding versus those areas actually benefitting from the funding
  • Map/graph disparity between areas of need and areas that received the benefits of funding
  • Map any correlations that emerge from funding disparities
  • Generate a report detailing research findings, their impact, and proposed solutions

During the REPORT phase, this project will:

  • Find means of public pressure through articles and news feature
  • Create a communication strategy to expose research findings, including inequitable trends, funding disparities, and discriminatory correlations
  • Disseminate findings among stakeholders with goal of developing strategies to address disparities
Ijeamaka Obasi

Ijeamaka enjoys reading non-fiction narratives. She also loves traveling with her family and friends, whether that be in rural Arkansas or Trinidad and Tobago - with a selfie stick in hand of course!

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