When the city of Flint, Michigan changes its water supply for the first time in fifty years, many people didn’t notice until their faucets began to spew out brown or orange, cloudy water that irritated their skin and tasted of metal. Flint has once been prosperous, but the collapse of the local automobile industry, the implosion of housing values and bad mismanagement by the State of Michigan all helped to impoverish the town. The city switched water sources to the Flint River hoping to save some money. Instead, it sparked a public health crisis as Flint’s children and adults were poisoned by lead-laced water, while local and state authorities continued to insist, against a growing body of evidence, that nothing was wrong.
- When Flint residents first noticed the polluted water, it appeared to have a coffee-like hue to it.
- Water was just one more issue that Flint citizens were facing along with poverty, crime, and lack of employment opportunities.
- KWA is an organization that helps cities dealing with water crises by pumping 85m gallons per day of water from the Great Lakes.
“Whatever their senses told them, whatever the whispers around town, whatever Flint’s troubled history with powerful institutions telling them what was best for them, this wasn’t actually hard for people like McCathern to believe.”