A neglected environmental justice issue: indoor plumbing
In America, nearly 2 million people lack access to adequate running water and sanitation services, posing serious health and quality of life challenges in thousands of communities. Many Americans without adequate indoor plumbing reside in working class rural areas, especially on indigenous reservations. Systemic racism has led local, state, and federal agencies to disinvest in rural and native community water systems, leaving these areas behind developmentally. Additionally, high user fees and engineering struggles make it hard for communities to self-fund water expansion projects without governmental assistance. Governments must make serious investments in rural water systems to reverse the effects of systemic oppression and create an environmentally just society.