TT030 – Improving Safe Water Access for the Cherokee Nation

Tribal communities share many of the water issues experienced by public water systems and private well users across the US, but they also have some unique challenges. In this episode we’re chatting with Billy Hix, a licensed water operator and registered sanitarian who works for the Cherokee Nation. Our conversation highlights the innovative solutions the Tribe is using to address safe water access as well as significant obstacles that remain.

Topics Discussed

“I think we need to be an advocate for small systems at the national level to get the resources they need for LSL inventories.”

Billy Hix

Go Further

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About the Guest

Billy Hix has worked for the Cherokee Nation since 1995, currently as the Senior Director of the Environmental Health & Engineering program. His office works with both individual tribal members and small communities across the Cherokee Nation Reservation to address water and wastewater needs. Billy is a Registered Professional Sanitarian with the Oklahoma State Department of Health & the National Environmental Health Association. He is also holds water, wastewater and water laboratory licenses with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Billy graduated from Northeastern State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Industrial Management in 2000. Billy is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Hydrology and Water Security from the University of Oklahoma. Billy serves as an At-Large director for the Rural Community Assistance Partnership as well as the Secretary/Treasurer for Communities Unlimited.

Billy and his wife Mariah have three sons, Eli, Samuel and Benjamin and live on a small farm north of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.