The town of Flint, Michigan is celebrating the sad anniversary of the thousand days without clean drinking water this week.
“In April 2014, the municipality riddled with debt and under supervision changed its source of drinking water supply to save money. But the water drawn from the Flint River, which runs through the city, has been corrosive and has eaten away at the old municipal pipe. The rusty pipes then released lead into the water. "
This educational guide will help raise students' awareness of the sound management of drinking water.
At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Understand the drinking water situation in Flint, Michigan;
- Observe the functioning of a drinking water distribution network in a city;
- Observe the consequences of the drinking water crisis in Flint on the inhabitants of the city.
ACTIVITY 1: Another misfortune for the town of Flint
To start the activity, tell students that a city in the United States has been experiencing a drinking water crisis for several years. This is the town of Flint, Michigan, which this week marked its thousandth day without drinking water.
Have the students heard of this city before? Can they imagine not having clean drinking water at home for over a thousand days?
To understand the drinking water situation in Flint, invite students to read this Radio-Canada article.
Then ask the students the following questions to check their understanding of the situation in Flint:
- What is the root cause of the drinking water crisis in Flint?
- What is the city doing to help citizens?
- What are the risks for children of consuming tap water?
- What is the objective that the city intends to achieve in a few years?
- What is the warning message from the Mayoress of Flint?
- Why are former Michigan and city employees facing justice?
ACTIVITY 2: The drinking water distribution network
So that students can understand how drinking water is distributed to residences in a city, as a whole class observe the different elements present in this edumedia animation:
ACTIVITY 3: Daily life without drinking water
As a whole class, list all the daily tasks that involve using clean tap water. Ask students to explain how a lack of clean water can be overcome at home.
To understand how the 100,000 inhabitants of Flint are changing their daily habits regarding their water use, invite students to consult the following site.
As a whole class, watch the film Erin Brockovich (2000) on a case of drinking water pollution in Hinkley, California or the film Roger and I (1989) by Michael Moore in which we see the decline of the town of Flint .
More about the magazine
Flint drinking water crisis: parents' fears
Radio-Canada, January 26, 2016
Drinking water crisis: Help and embarrassing revelations in Flint, Michigan
Radio-Canada, January 21, 2016
The looming water crisis - part 2
Epoch Times, January 1, 2017