(COMMON DREAMS) Mary Grant, Jo Miles, February 19, 2016 — As new information comes out every day about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the state of our country’s water feels dire. Flint children will suffer the lifelong consequences of lead poisoning after the state took over the city’s water system and switched the city’s water source from the safe Detroit water system to the polluted Flint River all in the name of cutting costs.
Flint’s situation is appalling, outrageous and frightening. It is a warning about what is at stake when communities lose local control of their water and outside officials come in and run water systems like businesses, putting money before public health and human lives.
Although we still have a long way to go to get justice for Flint, the good news is that more and more communities recognize the need to protect our water and run water systems like public services – not profit centers. Cities are moving in the right direction: toward local, public, democratic control of our water.