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School of Environment and Natural Resources


EPN Breakfast - March 22, 2022, And Water for All: A World Water Day documentary film screening and discussion on water access and affordability in Ohio

Mar 22, 2022, 7:15am - 12:00pm
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Full WMAO program is $40, includes EPN Breakfast; EPN Breakfast only $17.00; this program is free for students and virtual participants
Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
Cecil Okotah

Images of a water treatment plant, scientist viewing flask of water, and mother with daughter with blue water in the background.

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Program Overview

In collaboration with Ohio State’s School of Earth Sciences, the Ohio Water Resources Center, Water Management Association of Ohio (WMAO), and TerrAqua (a cross-disciplinary student organization at Ohio State and WMAO affiliate) this EPN Breakfast event consists of networking and educational features related to water affordability in Ohio.

Building and maintaining drinking and wastewater infrastructure to treat and deliver high-quality, affordable water to Ohio’s residents is a costly endeavor. Decisions on how to pay for these important investments can lead to heightened levels of conflict and competition in local and regional communities as increasingly the ability to ensure clean water access relies on the financial capacity of system users1. In the past two decades, average drinking water and wastewater service rates across the U.S. have increased by 136%, outpacing rates for other utilities such as electricity, natural gas, and phone service, while overall median household income only grew at 35% over this same period2 placing some low-income residents in a position where they cannot afford water or wastewater services.

On #WorldWaterDay 2021 the United Nations put out the global call for community leaders to ask and record what water access means to their residents and neighbors, to assess water’s true value, and how we can better protect and improve this vital resource in our communities. A team of Ohio State researchers from the School of Environment and Natural Resources answered this call, traveling the past year across Ohio asking water utility managers, users, and advocates in communities big and small, urban, and rural, about the challenge of water affordability. The result is And Water for All, an educational documentary examining the opportunities and challenges that governmental and non-governmental entities are facing today to secure clean and affordable water and what to expect in the coming decades.

Join this conversation on #WorldWaterDay, March 22, 2022, to see how we can ensure all residents of our communities have this basic right.

Spearing et al. (2021) Implications of Social Distancing Policies on Drinking Water Infrastructure: An Overview of the Challenges to and Responses of U.S. Utilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic, 1, 4, 888–899. Read more here.

Bipartisan Policy Center (2017) Safeguarding Water Affordability. Read more here.


For in-person guests 

7:15 a.m. Doors open at Ohio State 4-H Center; Coffee served. 

7:40 a.m. Breakfast buffet served. 

8:00 a.m. Livestreaming service begins for virtual attendees.  

8:10 a.m. Session 1 begins. And Water for All film debut.  

Jeff Sharp, PhD. director, Ohio State School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), and Ramiro Berardo, PhD. associate professor of environmental and natural resource policy, SENR and writer and director, And Water for All, provide welcome remarks. 

9:00 a.m. Director and panelists discuss the film, moderated by Linda Weavers, PhD. co-director, Ohio Water Resources Center (OWRC) and professor, Ohio State Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering. 

9:20 a.m. Audience Q & A session for both in-person and virtual audiences. 

9:40 a.m. Dr. Sharp concludes EPN Breakfast program component. Break and networking session for in-person guests. Livestreaming service concludes for virtual attendees. 

10:00 a.m. Session 2 begins. This portion of the program will be worth up to 1 CEU and PDH hours. 

Manny Teodoro, PhD. associate professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses policy, financial and other economic tools to address water affordability.  

Melissa Menerey, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and board president, WMAO, moderates and facilitates Audience Q&A for Session 2. 

10:45 a.m. Break and networking session.  

11:00 a.m. Session 3 begins. This portion of the program will be worth up to 1 CEU and PDH hours. 

Ken J. Heigel, P.E., executive director, Ohio Water Development Authority, and Pete Bucher, managing director of water policy, Ohio Environmental Council, present on financial opportunities to improve water affordability and policy strategies.   

Dr. Weavers moderates and facilitates Audience Q&A for Session 3.  

11:45 a.m. Concluding remarks by Joe Campbell, PhD. director, Environmental Professionals Network, and co-producer, And Water for All. 


Headshot of EPN speaker, Dr. Ramiro Berardo

Ramiro Berardo, PhD. associate professor of environmental and natural resource policy, Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources

As a policy scholar, Dr. Berardo studies how policy actors (individuals and organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental) interact with each other when they face environmental problems. In his research, Dr. Berardo examines how social capital forms affects both the attitudes of policy actors and their support or opposition to specific policy responses to environmental problems.  Dr. Berardo was born and raised in Argentina, where he earned his B.A. in political science in 1996 from the Catholic University of Córdoba. In 2001 he moved to the U.S., where he earned his PhD. in Political Science from Florida State University in 2006.

Headshot of EPN speaker, Dr. Manny Teodoro

Manny Teodoro, PhD. associate professor, La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Teodoro’s research stands at the nexus of politics, public policy, and public management. His work mainly focuses mainly on U.S. environmental policy and implementation, including empirical analyses of environmental justice. In addition, Dr. Teodoro pursues a line of applied research on utility management, policy, and finance. He has developed novel methods for analyzing utility rate equity and affordability, and he works on these issues directly with governments and water sector leaders across the United States. Dr. Teodoro also studies public management and bureaucratic politics, emphasizing labor markets as political phenomena and predictors of organizational performance. His award-winning book, Bureaucratic Ambition (2011, Johns Hopkins), argues that ambition shapes administrators' decisions to innovate and to engage in politics, with important consequences for innovation and democratic governance.

Dr. Teodoro earned his B.A. in Political Science from Seattle University, a M.P.A. in Public Administration from Cornell University, and a PhD. in Political Science & Public Policy from the University of Michigan

Headshot of EPN speaker, Ken Heigel

Ken J. Heigel, P.E., executive director, Ohio Water Development Authority

Ken has served as the assistant director of the Ohio Water Development Authority since January of 2018 and prior to that as the Chief Engineer since March of 2003. He has over 30 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry in the areas of design, construction, and funding. Mr. Heigel has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Ohio.

Headshot of EPN speaker, Pete Bucher

Pete Bucher, managing director of water policy, Ohio Environmental Council  

Mr. Pete Bucher serves as the managing director of Water Policy at the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) overseeing state and federal policies on harmful algae, agriculture, aquatic invasive species, water infrastructure, and affordability. Pete is a graduate of Worthington Schools and has a B.S. in Environmental Policy from The Ohio State University with a focus on water quality. Prior to joining the OEC, Pete served as a Legislative Aide in the Ohio House of Representatives and as a consultant on various legislative, organizing, and campaign projects. In addition, Mr. Bucher has served on Worthington City Council since January 2020. 


Del Co Water Company logo


Additional Information

This event’s California Continental Breakfast features freshly baked bagels, muffins, cranberry bread, and gluten-free zucchini bread. Yogurt and a fresh fruit salad will also be provided. Fresh Colombian coffee (caffeinated and decaffeinated), hot tea, and assorted fruit juices will be served. Compostable plates, napkins and flatware utilized are made from renewable sources like corn, sugarcane, and potato starch. 

In-person attendance will be limited based upon capacity and current Ohio State safety guidelines. Registration is required for all participants. Please only register for in-person attendance if you fully expect to attend. Masks are required from all event attendees at this event, regardless of one’s vaccination status, in accordance with Ohio State’s Safe and Healthy Protocols as of this date. In-person attendees will be expected to follow Ohio State protocols regarding the prevention of COVID-19 transmission. More health and safety information available on this Personal Safety Practices page. All fees will be refunded if changes in COVID-19 restrictions prevent in-person attendance. 

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in this activity, please reach out to Cecil Okotah ( Requests made five business days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access. However, we will make every effort to meet requests made after this time frame. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs. For the virtual audience, a closed captioning option via EPN’s YouTube live stream will be available, as well as other accommodations as requested on the registration.

This program will be recorded, edited, and posted to the EPN YouTube page by March 29, 2022.