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Flint Has Been Looking at Water All Wrong

It's not a commodity—it's a basic human right.
The top of a water tower at the Flint Water Plant in Michigan.
The top of a water tower at the Flint Water Plant in Michigan.REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

What is the dollar value of water? In Flint, Michigan, the answer is zero.

Ten people there have now died from Legionnaire's disease, a form of pneumonia likely linked to bacteria in the city’s water. Lead levels perilously above federal limits have put 9,000 young children at risk of blood poisoning. Countless residents have complained of rashes, hair loss, and headaches caused by their taps. The city’s pipes have suffered hundreds of millions of dollars of damage.