The Path to Water and Services Equity

March 23, 2023

12:00-1:00p.m. EST

Free virtual event - ASL interpreters available

Meet Cathy Bailey, the first woman and African-American woman to lead the Greater Cincinnati Water Works, and a trailblazer in bringing an equity and community focus to water service delivery.

Access to water and sanitation are recognized by the United Nations as fundamental human rights. This means every individual should be entitled to have physically accessible, sufficient, safe, and affordable access to water and sanitation. Governments play an important role in achieving this through the utility services that they provide. This 1-hour talk, hosted by the City of Kitchener, will explore the role of government utilities to provide access to water and sanitation services and how this can be achieved through an equity lens.

This session will be recorded.

Join the Conversation

Following the session, keep the conversation going by sharing your thoughts and reflections on the event with others interested in this topic. Subscribe to this page using the 'subscribe' button to be notified about new content related to this session and future speakers in the series.

About the Speaker

Cathy Bernardino Bailey is the Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works for the City of Cincinnati. Ms. Bailey is the first woman and African-American woman to lead the utility since its formation 205 years ago. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati and has been with GCWW her entire 31-year career. She began with the utility in 1992 as a chemist. The following year Cathy took on the role of Water Quality and Treatment Data Manager. She later earned several promotions to other key managerial positions before her promotion to the Executive Director role in 2015. Currently, Cathy is on special assignment with the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Sr. Advisor to help establish their lead service line replacement accelerators.

Cathy annually speaks and participates on panels at the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), and the Engaging Local Government Leaders conferences, and other water summits sharing knowledge on strategic planning, employee engagement, workforce diversity, and continuous improvement.

She has distinguished herself as a leader throughout her career, focusing on communications, strategic thinking, innovation, outreach, and teamwork to bring forward solutions that positively impact the community. Her local community work and leadership roles were recognized as she was one of the 2018 Greater Cincinnati YWCA’s Career Women of Achievement, and one of the Cincinnati Venue Magazine’s Women of Influence. In 2019, Ms. Bailey was named one of seven African American leaders in Cincinnati that residents should get to know and understand their impact in the region. In 2021, Cathy was the individual award recipient of the AWWA Diversity Award.

To learn more, please read Cathy Bailey’s biography

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this five-part speaker series in 2022/2023. Together, we explored topics related to how we can make city infrastructure and services more equitable and accessible for all residents. The speaker series has now concluded. If you have any questions, please contact the Planning division at

<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing:">Load Comment Text</span>