Appalachian water crisis demands new revenue streams, stronger oversight

Editorial
December 15, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

Personal stories of families collecting rainwater, going without laundry or bathing, and keeping children out of school seem like the stuff of a hurricane aftermath or other weather emergency — not routine life in America.

Those are just a few of the findings of the Herald-Leader’s “Stirring the Waters” investigation into eight Eastern Kentucky water systems. Report for America — showed many are living as if in an impoverished, undeveloped country.

The reporting team documented a long list of boil-water advisories, line breakdowns, pollution, discoloration, leaks and shutoffs. From 30 to 70 percent of water is lost from leaky pipes. All the while, customers’ bills go higher.