FLINT, Mi. – Michigan governor Rick Snyder announced Tuesday morning that his office has signed a $4.3 billion deal with the state of California to construct a 2.402 mile long pipeline between the town of Flint and Los Angeles. “I’ve reached an agreement with Governor Jerry Brown and the state of California that will effectively put an end to the water crisis in both our states,” Gov. Snyder said in a press conference Tuesday.
Residents of Flint, located in Genesse County, Michigan, have consumed lead-tainted water since April of 2014, when the city’s water department began drawing its resources from the Flint River. Prior to the switch, the City of Detroit provided Flint with drinking water for nearly half a century.
Despite weeks of El Nino-fueled rainfall, Southern California remains in the grip of an epic drought which parts of the state have had no choice but to endure since late 2011. “This charitable act will not go unnoticed by the people of California,” Governor Brown said in a statement directed at the people of Flint. Michigan is footing the $4.3 billion bill covering construction and operational costs associated with the pipeline. In an effort to lessen the burden on taxpayers, state legislators have diverted funds meant for Michigan’s departments of education, transportation, and health to cover a portion of it.
In exchange, California has agreed to provide the state of Michigan with an eleven percent discount on all agricultural exports -including almonds, apricots, pistachios, and dates, produced using Flint’s water supply until December of 2018. The news comes as a blessing to some Flint residents, including Katie Murphy, a thirty-nine year-old mother of two who swears by almond milk. “It’s definitely better than cow’s milk,” she told Real News Right Now, continuing, “I can enjoy it guilt-free knowing I’m not making a negative impact on the environment.”
Upon its completion, the California-Michigan pipeline will pump an estimated sixteen million gallons of water per day from the Flint River to the City of Los Angeles where it will then be dispersed throughout Southern California.