The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has announced a $4 million commitment in support of efforts to reconnect the City of Flint with the Great Lakes Water Authority as the source of its drinking water.
The proposed public-private partnership between Mott, the city, and the state is a temporary measure to resolve the city's ongoing problems aging infrastructure related to its current water supply — problems likely to persist until the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline is completed. Michigan governor Rick Snyder said he will ask the state legislature to provide half the $12 million needed to reconnect with GLWA through next summer, when the new pipeline is expected to be completed. The city itself will provide $2 million for the effort.
Because large bodies of water like the Great Lakes are prone to fewer problems from large rain events and subsequent runoff issues than shallower bodies of water and rivers, the initiative is expected to deliver immediate public health benefits to residents of the city. The Detroit water system already has corrosion control in the form of phosphates that are used to coat the inside of water pipes, thus limiting lead from leaching into the water supply.
"All Flint residents need clean, safe drinking water," said Snyder. "The technical experts helping the city on its water advisory all agree this move back to the Great Lakes Water Authority provides the best public health protection for children and families. This effort today is the result of people coming together to solve a problem. I appreciate Detroit's willingness to reconnect with Flint, the Mott Foundation’s generous commitment, and the dedication of all parties to come together to protect Flint families and children."