Everyone deserves clean water!

The issues in this blog entry go deeper than what I can address here, but what I need you to know is this

1. Girls of all ages have a voice and can be heard

2. Our earth is in need of help

3. There are kids in this country who do not have clean water at home or in schools AND we need to listen and act to see a change!

4. It IS your responsibility and YOU need to get educated in order to make change happen.

The facts. 

Water pollution is caused by both humans and nature. Natural causes can be volcanoes, algae bloom, animal waste and silt (fine sand or clay) from storms or floods. Human pollution is caused by sewage, pesticides and fertilizers, waste and chemicals, silt from construction and trash. 

Nearly 1 billion people on earth can not get clean water. 40% of the US rivers and lakes are too polluted for fishing or swimming. EWG stated that American drinking supplies have higher amounts of over 90 contaminants that scientists have considered unsafe. 

Flint Michigan

In April 2014, Flint Michigan was having a financial nightmare. It decided to switch its water supply from Lake Huron in Detroit to Flint River to save money. Most residents can tell you that at this time it was no secret that the Lint River was polluted. It was suppose to be a temporary solution. The change was immediately noticed by residents when the water came out brown because of the high levels of iron. It was discovered that lead from the lead water pipes contaminated the drinking water. Scientists proved the contamination and a state of emergency was declared in 2016 (nearly 2 years later !!!!). 

Residents were told to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. In 2017, it was found that the water quality had returned to acceptable levels, but residents were instructed to continue to use bottled or filtered water until all the lead pipes have been replaced. This is expected to be completed in 2020!

Girls are having an impact on this issue!

Mari Copeny, at age 8, wrote a letter to President Obama inspiring him to visit Flint.

Mr. President,

Hello my name is Mari Copeny and I’m 8 years old, I live in Flint, Michigan and I’m more commonly known around town as “Little Miss Flint”. I am one of the children that is effected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint. This Thursday I will be riding a bus to Washington, D.C. to watch the congressional hearings of our Governor Rick Snyder. I know this is probably an odd request but I would love for a chance to meet you or your wife. My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits. Thank you for all that do for our country. I look forward to being able to come to Washington and to be able to see Gov. Snyder in person and to be able to be in the city where you live.

Thank You
Mari Copeny

Gitanjali Rao, age 11, was inspired to create a lead detecting device after watching the events in Flint and witnessing her parents testing their water in Colorado. She thought there must be a better way to test for iron. After fighting for lab time in high schools and Universities in her area she invented an easier way to test for iron and was named "America's Top Young Scientist" in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The problem is not just in Flint

Today is the first day of school for many in the US. In Baltimore more than 160 public schools will be without water. The school is bringing in coolers until it decides how they will fix this issue. Drinking fountains were tested for lead in 2007 and shut down. Thats over 10 years!!! According to the Baltimore School District 2018-2019 school year, 14 schools now have working water fountains and kitchen water supplies. 14 out of 160?! 

Be active and be heard. The problem in some of these communities is beyond pollution. I encourage all of you to research, investigate and get curious.