The City Of Flint Now Has A Permanent Water Source For The Next 30 Years
The city of Flint now has a permanent water source.
The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) out of Detroit will now be providing water to Flint after a contract between the two was unanimously approved by the six-member GLWA board on Wednesday, MLive-Flint Journal reports. The 30-year water contract was also approved by the Flint City Council after a federal judge forced them to make a decision on it.
The contract included a number of amendments made by the Flint City Council such as:
…guaranteeing Flint a seat and representation on the GLWA’s board for at least the next four-year term, a $750,000 grant to the city for estimated water bill relief, easier access for Flint to $100 million funds earmarked for lead service line replacement, and a request from Gov. Rick Snyder for the General Motors engine plant to resume using Flint’s water supply.
Also included in the amendments is the council removing language that made Flint responsible for paying the legal fees of the water authority in the event of a lawsuit.
“Not only is there an economic benefit by having a lower wholesale charge, but the offset credit (via payment of the city’s $7 million Karengnondi Water Authority debt), as noted,” GLWA CEO Sue F. McCormick said.
Flint’s current short-term contract with GLWA ends on Thursday, November 30. A couple of months ago came a report that women who were exposed to the high levels of led in the city’s drinking water suffered from fertility issues. Fertility rates dropped by 12 percent among women in Flint, while fetal death rates rose by 58 percent after April 2014, according to research conducted by assistant professors and health economists David Slusky (Kansas University) and Daniel Grossman (West Virginia University).
The post-2014 percentage is important considering it was around that time that the city switched from water supplied by the city of Detroit to using the Flint River as a drinking water source, without adding needed anti-corrosives to the water, to save money. In the Kansas study, Flint’s birth and fetal death data was compared to similar data from 15 other large Michigan cities, including Detroit, with Slusky concluding that “Flint’s numbers fell off a cliff, and the rest of the cities stayed pretty much constant” after 2014.
Research from both Slusky and Grossman also revealed “that the sex ratio of babies born in Flint skewed slightly more female following the water change,” and “Babies born in Flint were also nearly 150 grams lighter than in other areas, were born a half-week earlier and gained 5 grams per week less than babies in other areas examined over the time period.”