Join Us at Motorco for Stories of North Carolina Drinking Water

March 22, 2019

Event Graphic

Coal ash. Lead. Aging infrastructure. Every drink of water is a risk: Where did it come from? How did it get there? What chemicals or microbes are in it? Who processed it and how well?

On April 16 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., come to the Motorco Music Hall to listen to an interdisciplinary group of Duke students from the Bass Connections project team DECIPHER: Case Studies in Drinking Water Quality. Students will showcase their creative projects and share insights from communities and stakeholders across the state about the kinds of risks they encounter in their drinking water.

Periodic Tables graphic.This presentation focuses on three different case studies that explore water and risk in North Carolina:

  1. Lead contamination in Durham
  2. Coal ash impoundments in Belmont
  3. Aging infrastructure in Orange County

Collectively, these case studies make visible the structural risks built into our politics, laws and infrastructure.

Join us for an evening of discussion on local drinking water and the complex factors impacting its quality. Tickets are $5 online or at the door, starting at 6:30.


Kathleen Burns, Ph.D. student in English
Nadratun Chowdhury, Ph.D. student in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Rupanjali Karthik, Master of Laws (LLM) student
Tommy Lin, Undergraduate student in Chemistry and Computer Science

Tommy Lin, Kathleen Burns, Rupanjali Karthik, Nadratun Chowdhury
Drinking water (courtesy of; Clockwise from top left: Tommy Lin, Kathleen Burns, Nadratun Chowdhury, Rupanjali Karthik

About This Project Team

The goal of DECIPHER: Case Studies in Drinking Water Quality is to bring together research expertise from multiple disciplines to tell the story of past risk-based scenarios on the topic of drinking water. Scenarios have been chosen to provide a representative set of contaminants, sources, decisions and affected populations.

The resulting profile will provide a systematic unpacking of what may have originally been seen as an isolated hazard, but turned out to be a complex issue in terms of history, culture, science, regulation, public narrative and trade-offs. Team members are also developing a teaching guide for the final profile to enable its use in future courses related to decision-making for health and environmental risks.

About Periodic Tables

Organized by Professor Misha Angrist and the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Periodic Tables is an informal science gathering during which invited speakers share interesting, relevant science to the general public in an engaging and interactive way. All are welcome to attend. Admission is $5. All ticket sales go toward supporting the program. Attendees may secure advanced tickets to guarantee seating for the event; preferred seating will be reserved.

Learn More