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NAACP Legal Defense Fund report calls out Baltimore's water crisis

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Posted at 3:26 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 15:46:15-04

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is working on water equality and sites Baltimore and its "water crisis" in a recent report.

In this 16-page report the NAACP Legal Defense Fund outlines the water crisis in American cities. In it they studied Baltimore. The report states, "We determined that Baltimore's water affordability crisis has, and will continue to have, a disproportionate and detrimental impact on the city's Black neighborhoods."

"We cannot talk about the water affordability crisis without centering the conversation on its disproportionate racial impact,” said Coty Montag, Senior Counsel at LDF and author of Water/Color, "Low-income families of color are being forced out of their homes because of rapidly rising water prices. Although there have been important strides in recognizing that access to water is a human right, few studies have explored the effect unaffordable water prices have on Black communities in particular. Americans must think of this crisis not only as an environmental justice issue, but as a racial justice one too.”

Overall the report outlines how in recent decades water prices have only increased. Research from the NAACP LDF found failing infrastructure is the biggest contributing factor, which we've witnessed in Baltimore.

Specifically the report highlights how water bills for many city residents are unaffordable, and prices are only going to increase.

Citing a study from Economist Roger Colton for Food & Water Watch, projected water bills for Baltimore customers will cost an average of $860.06 in 2019 and $938.45 in 2020.

Baltimore City is working on fixing the water bill problem with the Water Accountability and Equity Act, which still has yet to be approved.