Flint, Michigan, has been in a water crisis since 2014, when the Flint River became the main source of drinking water. Previously, Lake Huron supplied Flint’s water, but, due to insufficient funds, the city chose to switch to the Flint River. Along with a history of poor water quality, the river was found to contain high amounts of lead, a neurotoxin that is harmful to humans.
Since 2014, the city has continued to find issues with the water supply, including traces of industrial waste, pesticides, chlorine, and disinfectants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a number of warnings to residents about the possibility of health issues due to use of the water, causing many to stop drinking or using tap water. To this day, citizens of Flint use bottled water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
Thankfully, the federal government and EPA have awarded Flint money to rebuild its infrastructure. Unfortunately, the project will not be completed until 2020, leaving residents stuck with bottled water for three more years, but there is hope for those in Flint.
To support the residents of Flint, donate to the Flint Water Fund, run by the United Way of Genesee County, to fund the purchase of water filters and bottled water. The Virginia Tech Research Team focuses on finding solutions to the water crisis. To support the research team, money can be donated on the team’s GoFundMe page. Additionally, protesters can sign the petition on Change.org to convince Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, to not force Flint residents to pay for the contaminated water.