Ever since headlines of the lead contamination problem in Flint began circulating, countless thousands of citizens and corporations have shipped donations of bottled water to aid the local residents. The kind gestures could be viewed as a viable solution to come together as a country and send relief to a city in need.
However, the shipments of bottled water are doing little good and plenty of harm. Filmmaker Michael Moore, a Flint native, issued an open letter on his website to Americans imploring that bottled water shipments cease.
Michael Moore expressed gratitude to the celebrities like Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg that charitably donated hundreds of thousands of bottles of water. However, he also detailed the math behind such a massive donation and undertaking.
Even if an organization were to donate 100,000 bottles of water to the city of Flint that supply of water would only be enough for each citizen to brush their teeth for one day. 20.4 million bottles would have to be sent per day to cover the average amount of water used by American citizens (200 bottles a day per person).
Moore iterated that the donations would do nothing to reverse the horrific damage done to infants and children that resulted from ongoing lead poisoning for two straight years. The neurological impediments children suffer from drinking contaminated water is a serious matter, and Moore wants those concerned to know that the state of Michigan is responsible for those ailments that are irreversible.
The other daunting reality of these large donations of bottled water is the inevitable pile up of waste and plastic in Flint. Moore points out that if we were to turn solely to bottled water to resolve the crisis in Flint, hundreds of millions of bottles would need to be deposited in land fills that don’t currently have such a capacity.
Clearly sending bottled water doesn’t address the root problem of the issue. In addition, bottled water donations of large sizes create their own problems regarding waste and landfill accumulation.
Moore took the current governor, Rick Snyder, to task for what Moore believes are intentional misrepresentations of the truth to shirk responsibility that lead to the catastrophic poisoning of Flint’s residents. In Moore’s own words, “there is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it.”
In addition to holding Governor Rick Snyder responsible, Moore claims that the federal government will ultimately need to be in charge of efforts to replace and fix the water infrastructure in Flint. He expressed adamant support for a recently filed NRDC lawsuit requesting that a federal court force the city of Flint to replace all of the contaminated lead service lines now.
While Flint is on the path to recovery, Moore suggested that each home be outfitted with a temporary water system comprising of two 55-gallon drums to get citizens cleaner water. If you live in Flint or in the surrounding areas, you need to take every precaution with the quality of your water. Consider installing an RO water filter system to remove as many contaminants as possible and make your water safer.