16. The Flint water crisis led to a federal state of emergency
Surely clean drinking water is a basic right as a citizen of the United States of America, right? Well, while you would think so, this certainly is not the case for residents of Flint, Michigan.
The water crisis began in 2014 when the source of drinking water for Flint was switched from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to Flint River, in order to cut costs. However, the water in the Flint River is not treated properly, and has a high concentration of lead. As a result, over 100,000 residents consumed lead-filled water, causing a subsequent health crisis.
Scientists proved that the water was contaminated, which led to a federal state of emergency, and residents were only supposed to use bottled or filtered water for everything, from cooking to bathing. However, bottled water can be costly, and this is not a luxury affordable to all Flint residents.
Now, water quality is said to be acceptable; yet, residents are still being advised to use bottled or filtered water until all lead pipes have been removed - a process not to be completed for another two years.