According to the Food & Water Watch group, a nonprofit advocacy group, the residents of Flint, Michigan had the “most expensive” water of the 500 largest community water systems in the country in 2015.
The findings only add insult to injury, as Flint residents had to pay $864.32 yearly for their water despite the fact that it was filled with lead and was toxic to drink or even bathe in. The amount was almost three times the national average of $316.20.
The group advocates publicly-owned systems and campaigns against “corporations that put profits before people.”
The findings of the advocacy group came as no surprise to the residents of Flint, who saw their water bills rise by huge amounts, though in August 2015, a state judge ordered the city to roll back its water and sewer rates by 35%.
“I didn’t need a study to tell me I was paying the highest bills,” said Flint resident Valdemar L. Washington. “All I had to do was look at my water bills.”
“Even in Phoenix, where there’s a desert, they don’t pay as much as we do out here. And we’re surrounded by the Great Lakes. What’s going on?” Washington said.
Activists expressed outrage over the findings, pointing to the fact that Flint is 57% black and 41% impoverished.
“It’s completely insane for people to be paying so much who are getting frankly so little,” said Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP.
Flint officials have thus far declined to comment on the group’s findings.