The city of Flint, Michigan is trying to determine from where it should receive its water in the future. Today (April 18), Mayor Karen Weaver recommended, during a press conference, that the city stay with its current supplier, Detroit’s Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).
“Health and safety is our No. 1 top priority,” Weaver said, in the video below.
The decision will be finalized in a few weeks after the city hears from the public in a town hall on April 20. Other options include upgrading the city’s water treatment plant to process Lake Huron water from the Karegnondi Water Authority or purchasing pre-treated water from that authority via Genesee County, reports MLive-The Flint Journal.
Weaver had previously said the city would upgrade its plant, but estimates show that that work would cost more than the $100 million Congress has approved for the city’s infrastructure needs. After six months of looking at more than a dozen options, Weaver said they made this decision with “social and economic concerns being the driving factors.” This choice costs the least, Weaver said at the press conference, and it would minimize water rates in the future.
Staying with the GLWA also keeps the city from having to switch its water supply, which is finally meeting federal water quality levels. Avoiding change would work towards protecting residents from any “anxieties” or “fears” that may come from a switch, Weaver said. The city changed to the GLWA in 2015 when officials discovered that Flint’s water was full of lead.
This crisis began in 2014 when city officials decided to switch from GLWA to the Flint River to allegedly save money. However, they did not properly treat the Flint River water, resulting in lead leeching into residents’ drinking water supply.
The city is still accepting donations to address its infrastructure issues because even if it doesn’t upgrade its water treatment plant, its drinking water pipes need to be updated. The second annual Hoop 4 Water celebrity basketball game scheduled for May 20 will raise money for Flint. Rapper Snoop Dogg and basketball player Morris Peterson will host the event.