A situation that is so indescribable that it affects a whole town. The residents of Flint Michigan did not know what was in store for them when it came to the most important thing to life, safe drinking water. What most people take for granted the residents of Flint knows how it feels to be without clean drinking water and believing in a government that makes you feel that everything is okay until it is not. The lack of knowledge, the unwillingness to learn as well as the blatant disregard for rules and regulations is what lead Flint to the situation at hand. So, how do an organization mitigate future mistakes like this? Could it be transparency and frequent inspections to keep organizations up to date and abreast on new regulations and policies. The Flint water crisis is one thing that comes to mind when dealing with a local problem that required a public fix. There are at least one mitigating step that could have prevented this situation from occurring.
If officials adhere to the regulations and guidelines that are set in place to protect the citizens, then the Flint Michigan event would have never occurred. History According to NPR, the water crisis began when the city switched their water supply in 2014 to save money. The plan was simple, in order to save the region 200 million dollars over 25-year span, the city was going to switch from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the Karegnondi Water Authority. In order to do this the city would have to build their own pipelines to tap into KWA’s water supply. DWSD gave the city a year before they would terminate their account, on April 25, 2014 after DWSD terminated Flints water source, the citizens of Flint, Michigan started receiving water from the Flint River. This was supposed to be a temporary water solution until Flint’s pipelines were up and running.
Officials of Flint did not find it necessary to treat the water as a preventive measure to ensure pipe corrosion, as the regulation stated for a town with over 50,000 individuals. Individuals that play a major role in this event are the states Department of Health and Human Services, the city’s emergency managers and the governor, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and the citizens of Flint Michigan. Resources and Challenges to Overcome There are a few things that sick out about this situation that can help others in the future. The first still in to have knowledge of the situation. When coming into situations people need to know that basics such as the federal and state regulations that govern the problem set. Question that need to be asked before started a project are, has anyone ever did anything of this nature if so, how long it took and how much money was needed.
What are the finances looking like, is there a drawn-out plan, and if so, does the plan encompass the best possible scenario along with the worst possible scenario? Have a plan. If things are not going as planned, own up to it and don’t take the unnecessary risk, and always have a contingency plan. Another challenge that Flint has to take a look at is how they are going to fix all of the pipes within this town in a safe manner. What is Next As a result of the corrosion within the pipes of Flint’s residents, many individuals became ill due to lead poisoning. Several Flint officials resigned, criminal charges were filed against 3 officials and 2 corporations, and ultimately the town lost the hearts and minds of the residents of Flint. The states next step in addressing the water problem in Flint is to support for children under 6 with elevated lead levels, replacing water fixtures in public facilities, replacing the City’s 8,000 lead service lines, and increasing resources for schools. What is missing are the repairs to individual residents.
How will the resident that are already below the poverty line afford to do this, and how can the state afford to do this without added more chemicals to the water. In order to ensure that this situation never occurs again, the state needs to do quarterly test on the water and the test need to be done by using outside sources. Also, clear rules and regulations need to be put in places and updated every two years and ensure that the state regulations comply with the federal regulations. Conclusion A few things stand out as lessons learned while doing research are the ability to advocate for yourself. If something is wrong, keep pushing the issue until something gets done. Do not stop with the first no, take it higher. Also, staying update on all the rules and regulations that govern the situation. Having a well thought out plan is pertinent to being successful. Listening to the individuals that the situation is affecting and being flexible and willing to change is important in order to get the best results. Also, there should always be check in balances within an organizations to keep everyone honest.
- Kennedy, M. (2016, April 20). Lead-Laced Water In Flint: A Step-By-Step Look At The Makings Of A Crisis.
- Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/20/465545378/lead-laced-water-in-flint-a-step-by-step-look-at-the-makings-of-a-crisis Smith, M., & Friedman, L. (2018, July 20).
- After Toxic Water Crisis, Watchdog Urges E.P.A. To Shore Up Monitoring.
- Retrieved December 12, 2018, from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A547053863/ITOF?u=oran95108&sid=ITOF&xid=8739ca73