Water utilities should be prepared for the possibility of increased media and public interest in water quality, affordability and social justice issues during and following the U.S. Democratic presidential debates tonight and tomorrow in Detroit. The debates will air on CNN, and the network has already noted the debates’ proximity to Flint, Michigan , where concerns about lead and social justice remain front and center in the public consciousness. Other media are also highlighting this connection, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee published an opinion piece yesterday connecting the failures in Flint to the emerging issue of per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) in water. AWWA received an inquiry from PolitiFact regarding the price of drinking water in the United States, an indication that water affordability may arise during the debate too. AWWA utility members may find the following resources helpful for responding to inquiries. Lead Resources Lead Resource Page Lead Whiteboard Explainer Lead Communications Toolkit PFAS Resources PFAS Resource Page PFAS 101 (Journal Column) Update on PFAS legislative activity from AWWA Connections Overview and Prevalence of PFAS Treatment of PFAS Affordability Resources Affordability Resource Page Affordability Special Content Collection Affordability Mega-steps (Journal Column) In all cases, if contacted by media, AWWA advises utilities to follow sound risk communication principles in responding, including: • Responding to questions or concerns with empathy. • Being honest and open, including admitting uncertainty where it exists. • Emphasizing your commitment to public health protection. • Express a willingness to involve the public in decision-making. Questions can be directed to Greg Kail , AWWA’s director of communications.