What’s in the water?

It’s a question of increasing importance.

As Flint, Michigan and the 2014 Charleston, W.Va. Water Crisis have shown, clean water can’t be taken for granted.

Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016, 37 citizen groups met at the West Virginia Capitol to ask for “water justice,” drawing connections between the Flint and Charleston water crises. (Read more at wvpublic.org.)

The issue is a national one. A recent New York Times article discusses how, while most community water systems provide safe drinking water, there are “holes in the safety net of rules and procedures intended to keep water not just lead-free, but free of all poisons.” From old lead pipes in older homes, to unregulated, understudied chemicals, there are many weak points in our water infrastructure system and system regulation and monitoring. (See more at nytimes.com.)

Slate asks: who will be the next Flint? Towns with older infrastructure, in need of repairs and replacement, don’t always have the tax base and funding to cover the cost. The author writes that Marc Edwards, civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech who aided in discovering the lead contamination in D.C. and Flint, estimated that national infrastructure repair needs are $1 trillion. (Read more at slate.com.)

What concerns do you have about your water and water infrastructure? What would you like to see explored, changed, or regulated?

We will be asking the community, experts, and others these questions and more, as we continue work on the StreamLab project.

We will be announcing our next sensor site location soon. We hope you’ll continue to follow along.