Thirsty for Justice

In Austin, Texas, some people pay one price for water, and others pay another based on where one is in the city. In Flint, Michigan, people are still being charged for water that cannot be drunk. In Standing Rock, South Dakota, the residents are protesting that the pipeline will affect their drinking water, which is why wealthy residents in other parts of the state demanded that the pipeline be moved. The reason that the marginalized have difficulties shoring up resources is that they are forced to pay more for basic necessities.
Urban and rural marginalized communities are hit from several angles regarding water discrimination. Many independent companies can develop monopolies on their resources. For rural areas, water companies have fewer customers, using this fact to justify rises in cost for basic usage. Also, the local government is ambiguous, meaning that multiple counties and/or cities can lay claim to the property, so residents cannot challenge water costs. For urban areas, the infrastructure is often neglected, meaning that pipes leak or are of poor quality.
Such injustice is dismissed by those in more advantaged portions of the city with the notion that people need to “work to improve their situations.” Unfortunately, many of the people in poorer communities are often neglected by local government entities because of the low tax receipts. One of the causes of dilapidation in the lives of the marginalized is health, and being able to drink fresh water is deemed a privilege in some cases. Clean water should be a basic human right, but until local entities agree, the disparaged will have to pay more to enjoy it.


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