Today, on World Water Day, take action for water justice in Flint, Michigan!
Flint still has unsafe water and now the city is shutting off their water, necessary for basic sanitation, because people can’t afford their water debts.
The Governor is responsible.
Nearly four years ago, an emergency manager appointed by Governor Rick Snyder ordered the switch of Flint’s water supply to a polluted river and caused the Flint Water Crisis. Bacteria and lead contaminated the water. For years, residents have fought for safe water but long-term damage has been done. They still rely on bottled water for drinking and cooking.
There is still lead in Flint water.
The latest test results from Flint elementary schools found lead levels have increased since January. No amount of lead is safe, especially not for children.
Flint had the most expensive water.
Governor Snyder’s emergency managers hiked Flint’s water rates to the most expensive in the country. In 2015, at the height of the Flint water crisis, we surveyed the 500 water systems in the country, and we found that Flint had the highest water rates in country and that was for water that was toxic.
Over the course of the Flint water crisis, many residents have racked up unmanageable levels of water debt that the city is now collecting on.
Water shutoffs threaten Flint’s human rights.
Water is a basic human right. Every person deserves access to safe and affordable water.
The city of Flint—still under state oversight—is shutting off water service to homes who have fallen behind on their bills for toxic water. Flint residents may not drink their tap water but they still rely on it to bathe, clean, wash their hands, and flush their toilets.
Already, more than 1,000 Flint homes have had their water service shut off since last January. Now after a winter moratorium, the city is resuming water shutoffs.
Research from Detroit has shown how water shutoffs pose a major threat to public health. Without water to bathe, wash your hands, clean your clothes and dishes, or flush your toilet, of course, diseases can spread more easily.