According to a recent Food & Water Watch study, the people of Flint, Michigan, are not only being poisoned with lead via their city water supply, thanks to Gov. Rick Snyder’s financial emergency management law, they’re also paying some of the highest rates for water in the nation. In the one state in the entire country literally surrounded by fresh water, that’s a scandal.
The Food & Water Watch study states that the average annual water bill for those living in “Vehicle City” at the beginning of 2015 was “$846.32 for a household using 60,000 gallons a year.” Comparatively, Phoenix, Arizona—you know, in a desert climate—paid the least at “$84.24” a year. Clearly, something is askew.
Flint’s water rate was still considered high when compared to several other cities around the country even after it lowered its rates and dropped its service fee at the insistence of a local judge. Still, Flint citizens paid more for water than almost anywhere, and that after a 35 percent reduction, mind you. Ouch!
The study examined “the 500 largest community water systems in 48 states,” but considering what’s been going on in Flint for the last few years under the Snyder administration, and the fact that Flint pays some of the highest water rates in the country for lead-contaminated water, when it is surrounded by the largest body of fresh water in the world—the Great Lakes—it’s worth pointing this mere footnote out and circling it with a bright red permanent marker:
The study largely showed private, for-profit water systems are more costly for everyone—far more so than public water systems—but Flint’s lead-tainted public water system is some of the priciest water out there. That’s pure Rick Snyder Michigan, there, in a city where 42 percent of the population has to look up to see the poverty line.
Featured image by Petras Gagilas via Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.