Second Major

Political Science


Kristin Johnson

Advisor Department

Political Science





Policy, Flint, Water, Lead, Michigan, Crisis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


The world is made up of 75% water and it may seem unbelievable that water scarcity still exists. It is one thing to have access to water, but having access to clean water is a major problem not only in developing countries around the world, but also in developed countries such as the United States. That’s right! The U.S. which is considered one of the most developed countries worldwide, is facing a crucial water crisis that’s affecting millions of people. In 2014, The Flint Michigan Water Crisis became a public health crisis that shocked the nation. Residents and civilians in Flint were experiencing a change in their water quality that led to numerous health effects and even deaths. This issue led people to question the safety and well-being of fellow Americans. The problem began in April of 2014 when the city switched its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to Karegnondi Water Authority, but decided in the meantime to use Flint River as an alternative option to start flowing water throughout the city. Almost immediately, residents of Flint started complaining about the quality of the water. By that time, many pipes had sustained major corrosion and it became easy for lead to leach into the water. A major health problem that arose from this crisis was high records of lead levels in women and children, which can lead to learning disabilities, behavioral problems and stunt growth. With this project, I will be conducting a research analysis of the Flint Michigan Water crisis. A the end, I will create a policy memo that will guide the city of Flint which includes the city’s emergency managers, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with recommended solutions that can be used to mitigate the crisis and prevent other crisis from happening as well. These suggestion can later be used towards implementing future policies. This memo will understand the pre-existing causes and history of the crisis, analyze data such as lead testing sampled from Flint River, evaluate the short and long term effects of health hazards on children and families and the progression the state and city has made on behalf of those affected, and finally formulate ways to produce positive outcomes for majority of the population. These solutions may not fix the crisis, but they could be used to slow down the effects it is having on people. Studying this particular issue is important because it will shed light on the mismanagement and lack of urgency taken to fix the water contamination issue in Flint before it became a huge crisis that affected millions of people. By the end of this project, I hope to have a better understanding about how this nation deals with public health crisis.