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Why America’s Food Security Crisis is a Water Crisis as Well

Leli Nargi writes in The Fern:

“As with hunger, there are myriad reasons a person might be water insecure—some financial, some structural, and others having to do with quality and access. Still others are short-term predicaments brought on by disaster or a failure of local government… many Americans spend more than 12 percent of their income for water and sewer service. Others have lead pipes that contaminate tap water (Newark); or bacteria seeping into wells (Iowa); or sewage backing up into pipes during storms (Milwaukee); or nitrates running off farm fields (Las Vegas). A storm may knock out the electricity that pumps water (Puerto Rico), or knock out the pump itself (Jackson). Residents of the Navajo Nation lack basic water infrastructure. Then there are regions where aquifers are running dry, such as in California’s Central Valley.

Water poverty has a lot to do with health beyond the primary need to drink a couple of liters a day. Perhaps most consequentially, research shows that children exposed to lead can suffer developmental delays and brain damage. Rosinger also found that people who avoid tap water are more likely to drink sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs, in public health parlance). This alternative ups their risk for obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases, with the implications most long-lasting for children.”

Learn more: Why America’s Food-security Crisis Is a Water-security Crisis, Too