Description: Water issues find their way into the news quite often. Find out what happened with the water scandal in Flint, Michigan and the water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa since they were last the headlines.

Water issues often take top spot in the headlines when they first happen, but we rarely find out how they are resolved. Here are updates to two of the top water news stories of the last few years.

Flint, Michigan (2014-2019)

Flint’s water problems became a public health crisis in 2014 and lasted until 2019. The source of the city’s drinking water had been switched to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. The water from the river was then found to contain multiple forms of dangerous bacteria that were causing residents to fall ill. Multiple boil water advisories were put in place. At the same time, officials failed to add corrosion inhibitors to the water, which caused the old water pipes that ran through the city to leach lead into the drinking water and poison thousands of people.

Description: Water issues find their way into the news quite often. Find out what happened with the water scandal in Flint, Michigan and the water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa since they were last the headlines.

Water issues often take top spot in the headlines when they first happen, but we rarely find out how they are resolved. Here are updates to two of the top water news stories of the last few years.

Flint, Michigan (2014-2019)

Flint’s water problems became a public health crisis in 2014 and lasted until 2019. The source of the city’s drinking water had been switched to the Flint River as a cost-saving measure. The water from the river was then found to contain multiple forms of dangerous bacteria that were causing residents to fall ill. Multiple boil water advisories were put in place. At the same time, officials failed to add corrosion inhibitors to the water, which caused the old water pipes that ran through the city to leach lead into the drinking water and poison thousands of people.

Though the water was deemed safe to drink in February 2019, many residents of Flint have lost faith in their municipal water and are still drinking bottled water. By the fall of 2020, almost 10,000 lead pipes had been replaced across the city.

In 2020, $641 million was awarded to 25,000 victims of the contaminated drinking water crisis, including 5,000 children. A large portion of the settlement was earmarked for the families of children who suffered from lead poisoning.

In January of 2021, 9 officials were charged with 34 felony counts and 7 misdemeanors, including former Governor Rick Snyder, for their roles in mishandling Flint’s drinking water.

Cape Town, South Africa (2015 – 2020)

In 2015, water levels in Cape Town’s dam and reservoirs started to decline due to drought and increased population. As the drought became more severe, available water for the municipality further declined. In 2017 the water crisis peaked, and the city was in danger of running out of water completely.

The municipal government in Cape Town implemented severe water restrictions on its residents between 2017 to 2018. Rainfall increased in 2018 and the city narrowly avoided being the first major city in the world to run out of drinking water.

As of October 2020, Cape Town’s reservoirs were at 100% capacity. High rainfall levels combined with changes to the infrastructure and a new culture of water efficiency in the city have all lead to this drastic rebound.

Other areas of South Africa are still suffering from limited drinking water due to drought.

Water Testing at Home

Water security is an issue for every community around the world. Feeling confident that your drinking water is safe is incredibly important. AquaKnow is a premier water testing company that can provide you with the scientific details about the safety of your water. We perform residential, food and beverage, industrial, drilling and dental water testing for clients who want to know what is in their water.

Find out if your drinking water is safe by ordering a test kit from AquaKnow. Simply follow the instructions in your kit and in a few days, you will receive your test results in an easy-to-understand format. Stay confident in your drinking water by testing it annually.

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