Baths to washing machines: welcome to the (almost) waterless home of the future

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Domestic products that eliminate the need for water could mean you’ll never have to get wet in the bath or boil an egg again.

Emails Deepen Criminal Cases in Flint, but Charges May Be Tough to Prove

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan, announced criminal charges against three government workers in Flint’s water crisis, he pledged there would be more charges soon, saying, “We’ll go wherever the truth takes us — and, in this case, wherever the emails take us.”

Thousands of email messages, which were made public in the months since state authorities acknowledged lead contamination in the city’s water last fall, are at the center of the state’s case, and more messages may yet come to light as prosecutors appear likely to weigh possible charges against higher-level officials.

But even with an array of written evidence, legal experts and environmental lawyers say the 13 criminal charges announced last week in Flint are extremely rare, and some said prosecutors may face significant challenges proving them in court.

Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis Are ‘Only the Beginning,’ Says Michigan AG

Read the full story in Governing.

Three officials responsible for maintaining safe water in Flint tinkered with evidence, tweaked testing and misled county and federal officials, helping to set in motion the contamination of the city’s drinking water with lead, according to criminal charges filed by Michigan’s chief law enforcement official Wednesday.

A Timeline of Flint’s Water and Recycling Crisis

Read the full story at Waste360.

When the officials of Flint, Mich., tapped into the Flint River as a temporary water source in 2014, they weren’t prepared for the crisis to follow.

Flint is home to approximately 100,000 residents, 41.6 percent of whom live below the poverty line and maintain an average income of $24, 679, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. When these residents found out that Flint was switching its water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to the Flint River, they raised concerns about contaminated water.

After months of being told by city officials that the water from the Flint River was safe to drink and bathe in despite the water odor, color and taste, it turns out the residents were right about their initial concerns.

From lead-filled, tainted drinking and bathing water to a shortage of bottled water, the City of Flint declared a state of emergency on December 14, 2015. Since then, Flint has been battling with contaminated water and plastic water bottle recycling issues.

Below, you can find a timeline of Flint’s water and recycling crisis.

Tougher testing, new pipes: Snyder’s proposals for new lead standards

Read the full story from Great Lakes Echo.

Flint is slowly making progress on replacing lead service lines, and the city is coating the pipes with anti-corrosives to prevent more lead from leaching into the water.

While the Flint crisis is far from over, residents there are getting closer to having clean tap water again, but Flint isn’t the only Michigan city with lead service lines tied into its water infrastructure. And state officials say that replacing lead pipes across the state could go a long way in preventing another public health catastrophe.

On Friday, Governor Rick Snyder endorsed a plan that would toughen lead test rules and require all lead service lines in the state to be replaced within the next 10 years, but exactly how that would happen and what it would cost are still unknown.

Current State speaks with Garret Ellison, an environmental and Great Lakes reporter for MLive.

Criminal charges today in Flint water crisis

Read the full story in the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will announce criminal charges today in connection with his ongoing investigation of the Flint drinking water crisis, three sources familiar with the investigation told the Free Press on Tuesday.

Officials believe the city got artificially low lead readings because they didn’t test the homes most at risk — those with lead service lines or other features putting them at high risk for lead. Among those to be charged is a City of Flint official who signed a document saying the homes Flint used to test tap water under the federal Lead and Copper Rule all had lead service lines — a statement investigators allege was false.

Schuette is to announce felony and misdemeanor charges against at least two, and possibly as many as four people, according to two other sources familiar with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, sources said.

How companies can save money with bolder water goals

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

The private sector is starting to feel the pain of the global water crisis. Last year, the World Economic Forum ranked water crises as the most damaging short-term risk, and this year as the top global risk to industry and society over the next decade.

In 2015 alone, 27 percent of companies disclosing to CDP Water (PDF) reported detrimental water-related business impacts, including loss of revenue, increased capital expenditure and decreasing profits, to name a few.

At the Paris climate summit in December, 114 multinational companies joined together in committing to use the best science as the basis for setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Targets informed by science might well be effective in reducing risks posed by water as well.

However, there is no consensus on the best way to set targets for water that help reduce business risk.