Opinion: Newark’s water woes were a long time in the making

water splash

SYED M. HASSAN / STAR-LEDGER – Contrary to the popular expression, clean water cannot be found everywhere. Consider this:

• Some 1.4 billion people around the world live without clean drinking water;
• Eighty percent of all illnesses and diseases worldwide stem from contaminated water;
• Approximately 77 million residents in the United States are particularly vulnerable because of the decrepit state of the water infrastructure that provides tap water to their homes.

Water is not a simple thing, as Flint, Michigan realized five years ago after thousands of residents were exposed to water contaminated with lead. Their situation put a harsh spotlight on what happens after a city neglects its water delivery system for decades …

Syed M. Hassan is the public affairs specialist at Islamic Relief USA, a nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization. 

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