Why Race and Inequality Are at the Heart of America’s Water Problems

May 25, 2017

Millions in the U.S., particularly poor people and communities of color, have inadequate access to water. A bill in Congress is designed to fix that.

On March 22, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan reintroduced the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act, a bill to make water service safer and more affordable for all. The introduction of the legislation was particularly timely since March 22 was World Water Day, an annual event that highlights the critical importance of water and the need to preserve it as a common good.

These days, more and more communities struggle to provide adequate drinking and wastewater services. That’s because the federal government used to be one of the most reliable stewards of our public water resources, but over the past forty years, that financial support has dwindled.