US Towns And Cities Are Facing A Drinking Water Disaster

( — In 2014, Flint, Michigan, became an area of intense interest when it was revealed that their public water system was contaminated with lead. While today the lead levels in their water are below what is considered an acceptable limit, the city is still coping with the fallout from the problems with their health, with lawsuits, and with a more complicated relationship with water.

It later became obvious that Flint was not the only system with lead in their drinking water, and furthermore, many areas of the U.S. have a variety of serious problems with their municipal water. One major problem is America’s aging city water systems, which have been badly in need of updating for years, but the money is just not there so the problem gets deferred repeatedly. These areas are losing water. The water leaks out of old pipes due to lack of maintenance or breakage, and the city ends up treating or buying far more water than its residents need. They can’t afford to fix the system, and they are spending more, so the costs are passed on to residents.

Prichard, Alabama, has found that they are losing more than 60% of the drinking water they buy from nearby Mobile. A state environmental report included a comment indicating that the severity of disrepair in their water system “cannot be overstated”. More than 30% of Pritchard’s populace live in poverty, yet their water bills range in the hundreds and even thousands. Community activist Carletta Davis says people struggle to pay their water bills, sometimes having to make hard decisions about buying food or medicine.

Sadly, Prichard is far from the only area in America suffering from serious water loss issues. Jackson, Mississippi, has been losing about 65% of their water for years, including millions of gallons gushing from pipes for so long that areas have been converted to wetlands. Throughout the U.S., trillions of gallons of drinking water are lost every year, most often in poverty-stricken areas that are already suffering from population decline and deteriorating infrastructure.

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