Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
City workers bring Newark residents. Image: Andrew Maclean | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
We wrote the other week about Newark’s ongoing water crisis and the city’s plan to distribute bottled water to residents after water filters that were previously made available to the public lacked the ability to filter out lead. Now New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced a new $120 million plan yesterday to fast-track the process of replacing all lead service pipes throughout the city. As the New York Times explained, a new financing plan will allow the city to replace the 18,000 buried lead service lines in the next 24 to 30 months, a significant change from what city officials had estimated would take 10 years to complete.
The Financing:CBS reported that “under the plan, Essex County will issue a $120 million bond to replace the problematic lead service pipes. It drastically speeds up the ongoing project, which was initially scheduled to take eight to 10 years. With the new investment, the work should get underway in a couple of weeks and could be completed in just two or three years.” City and county officials are expected to take a final vote on the plan and approve it this week to allow the city to take bids from contractors.
The Scale: The Times also noted that a water line replacement project the size and scale of Newark’s would be a first for New Jersey, and among the first projects of its kind in the nation given the compressed time frame. The project is made more difficult by the fact that the pipes are laid mostly under private property and the city cannot act unilaterally to excavate them; residents need to request a replacement and then grant access to the city’s contractors. In Newark, where 70 percent of residents are renters, it can be difficult to track down landlords.
Why This Matters: According to the UN, clean water is a human right, and sadly one that is not being provided consistently across the United States. Last night during the MTV VMAs, protestors descended on the venue to express their anger at the general lack of awareness of Newark’s water crisis. In the interim, until Newark’s pipes are replaced, residents cannot be guaranteed clean drinking water and it’s unclear how this might affect their health.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer While all eyes were on Texas last month, another part of the U.S. has been dealing with its own water crisis. Parts of Jackson, Mississippi have been without water for almost 3 weeks after cold weather swept through the region. Thousands of people, predominantly people of color, have been impacted by the shortage […]
While more than one million Texans are still living without running water, Democratic lawmakers and advocates across the nation are urging President Biden to back a water infrastructure bill that would commit $35 billion to update and climate-proof the nation’s water infrastructure.
Why This Matters: The Guardian reports that a majority of water and waste systems in the U.S. are unprepared to deal with the increasing impacts of climate change.
Why This Matters: The states failed to reach a water compact more than a decade ago — now they have nowhere else to go but the Supreme Court, which has “original jurisdiction” over a dispute between two states.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.