Scattered around the nation, there are parts of the country in which millions of Americans are living without the basic amenities that most of us take for granted.
I’m not talking about high-speed internet or frivolous things. I’m talking about electricity, flushing toilets, and clean running water.
But this isn’t a problem that only exists in one state or to one demographic. It’s happening across the nation more and more. Let’s take a look.
Millions are living without running water.
A new report says that more than 2 million Americans in West Virginia, Alabama, Texas and the Navajo Nation Reservation in the Southwest are living without clean running water or indoor plumbing. They’re drinking from polluted streams. They’re carrying buckets of the same water home for washing. They’re urinating and defecating outside with no wastewater treatment.
Race and poverty are the strongest predictors of water and sanitation access, according to the study. Native American families are 19 times more likely than white households to lack indoor plumbing, while black and Latino homes are nearly twice as likely. Meanwhile, federal funding for water infrastructure is just a small percentage of what it used to be, the authors wrote.
“Access to clean, reliable running water and safe sanitation are baseline conditions for health, prosperity, and well-being,” DigDeep CEO George McGraw and US Water Alliance CEO Radhika Fox said in a statement. “However, they remain out of reach for some of the most vulnerable people in the United States.”
The 2 million figure includes 1.4 million people with homes who lack access to hot and cold running water, as well as a sink, shower, bath or flushing toilet. (source)
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