Alaska Rural Water and Sanitation Working Group
A USARC-Coordinated Working Group
January 30, 2014 | Anchorage, AK
Fourth Annual Water and Sanitation Innovations for the Arctic Workshop
The Future of “Washeterias” in Alaska
An ALPHA Post-Summit Session Workshop co-sponsored by the US Arctic Research Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosted a workshop on the future of “Washeterias” in Alaska. The workshop focused on water and sanitation issues in rural Alaska with a specific focus on “washeterias” with central watering points (sometimes referred to as “central facilities”). Washeterias in Alaskan villages are aging. Moving into the future, input from local residents on how they would like these facilities to look and function and recommendations from engineers and health specialists on how these buildings can be best designed to promote health and fit user needs are critical to better serve the villages of Alaska and improve public health in the community. The main objective of the workshop was to gather information from participants on the topics listed above to be used in a “best practices” document for future washeteria design, construction and use (to be completed post-workshop).
This year’s workshop was split into two sessions:
- An morning session provided information on the current status of washeterias in Alaska;
- An afternoon breakout group session focused on specific aspects of washeteria design and user needs and circled back to the Workgroup’s overarching goal of maximizing the health benefits of in-home water and sanitation services in the rural North.
Participants included a broad range of scientists/stakeholders from leading universities, Alaska Native Organizations and officials from Federal, State and local governments.