In fact, water crises are now rather common. The causes range from industrial pollution and subsequent lack of concern or collusion to covert it up like in Flint, Michigan, or it could be the result of a radioactive leak. It could be because of intense factory farming, lead cables, poor treatment practices, busted pipes, or generalized contamination. But the ultimate cause of the massive increase in water crises in the United States is one of crumbling infrastructure.
Accidents happen. They always have and always will. However, Flint did not become poisoned by one accident and the communities receiving water from the Great Lakes did not become polluted by one spill either. Communities all across America are experiencing water crises that have been decades in the making. From lack of updating treatment facilities, ensuring that reservoirs are clean, and regulating industry that would love to use drinking water supplies and underground water as their own personal toilets, America has slowly created for itself a perfect storm that combines heavy industry, lack of legitimate regulation, and austerity. In many communities, something as simple as proper upkeep of piping and even proper replacement of damaged pipes has caused major portions of cities to have to boil their water, children to miss school, and hospitals in danger of shutting down.
Another part of the problem is the age-old scam of water privatization, not just in terms of reservoirs or industry but in terms of cities, towns, and communities. Once considered a rightful duty of the city, town, or community government, water treatment, maintenance, and delivery in the United States was indeed something to be envied the world over. However, a brilliant con was eventually introduced where, after years of hard-earned taxpayer money being used to build and maintain water systems, those same taxpayers are assaulted with propaganda that “government is too slow and incompetent” to do the job and that the private sector is “more effective and more efficient.”
Taxpayers are promised better services at lower prices. Once the citizens are propagandized enough, they are offered referenda or simply informed of the changes that the system owned by the local governments will be turned over to the private industry. Businesses, of course, are interested in one thing only and, after raising the prices of the services over time, the private sector fails miserably at keeping up the infrastructure they contracted to maintain because maintenance costs money and eats into the profits of the company.