The state of Michigan has just ended the free bottled water program for residents in Flint, Michigan although the process of replacing old lead pipes for thousands of residents continues. Testing shows that lead levels have dropped beneath the federal action limit, but for residents who lived through the state’s mismanagement of the Flint Water Crisis, concerns obviously remain.
Clean, accessible water is essential for human life. Adding to the frustration is that companies like Nestle were granted permission by the state to pump water near Flint:
[T]he governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, announced on Friday that city residents would no longer receive free bottled water from the state.
Instead, residents will have to pay some of the steepest tap water prices in the country: around $200 per month for water they aren’t even sure is safe to drink.
To put all of this into perspective, Nestle pays around $200 per year to pump almost 100,000 times the amount of water that the average Michigan resident uses.
And now, the company has been given the go ahead to pump nearly double that amount – with no additional cost, of course.
I have a hard time putting my frustration and anger about this into words. Devaluing human life and suffering while promoting corporate profits… This is not the best that we can do.