Water Equity Program

Our Water Equity Program supports cities burdened with water system issues. We currently provide direct support for Lead Service Line Replacement for U.S. members.


Cities in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region are often burdened by aging and unsafe water systems, facing hazards like contaminated drinking water, leaky pipes, flooding of basements and roads, and more. Tackling these issues requires considerable planning, coordination, and investment. Most grant and loan programs are run by states – there is not a one-size fits-all approach for seeking funding. Further, not all communities that need help meet eligibility requirements for existing support programs.

Lead Service Line Replacement is a current and pressing need facing many Great Lakes communities. Per the EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule Revisions, all water systems must complete, at minimum, an inventory of existing lead service lines by October 16, 2024. The lead service line replacement process requires careful planning, can take many years, and often must incorporate outside expertise, especially as communities look to achieve outcomes like equity and affordability.


a child drinks water out of a water fountainWith generous funding from the Joyce Foundation, the Cities Initiative, in partnership with the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) is pleased to offer Lead Service Line Replacement Consulting for its U.S. members. This program provides 10 hours of support to local elected officials and/or staff. Consulting will be tailored to the community’s needs. Example topics include:

  • Planning for equity
  • Expediting replacement
  • Using funds efficiently
  • Pursuing appropriate assistance with engineering & financing

Each participating community is presented with an initial, tailored Action Plan upon completion.


Is your community currently planning or implementing a lead service line replacement program? If so, please consider taking advantage of this complimentary service for Cities Initiative members.

If you are grappling with other water system issues, please check back. We will expand our program and services in 2024.


Email Bridget Brown, bridget.brown@glslcities.org, today to reserve your spot for this program.

We also invite you to join our Lead Service Line Replacement Webinar Series. Access the recording from the first session in this two-part series (November 9th). Register for the second session (February 22nd).