Water. There is so much around here. The Great Lakes are massive, and Detroit is surrounded by water. It’s geography is odd. To stand in Detroit and look south, over the water, and see Canada. It still feels odd.
Water. There is so much, that it’s killing people. I’ve mentioned in a previous post about the fact that Detroit has suffered so much flooding that houses are wr caked and some are now sinking. But a city near here, Flint, has revealed even bigger problems associated with this area.
Detroit became such a focal point for the automobile (sorry, I mean ‘car’) industry because of its plentiful supply of both water and wood. In the 1800s you could do any industry with water and wood. Carriage makers started here, and they gave way to the first car makers. Industry grew. But pollution also grew. Over the years, the water around here received millions and millions of unwanted pollutants from industry and from the rapid increase in population. Lead pipes were put in quickly.
Unfortunately, the pollutants and the lead pipes didn’t get on together. Cuttings very long story short, Flint was so disgusted with the water quality in Detroit that it went back to using its own river. Now, it’s a city blighted by the results of lead poisoning.
So much water everywhere that it’s killing people.
Detroit’s water supply is being patched. But it really needs long term investment. But the officials of both give men and business are debating this, and have been debating it for years. It is now rising to the top of the agenda. Why? Because even middle class areas are being effected by it.
Yesterday I saw a film made by the Presbyterian Church that told this water story. It is a social justice film. It is brig well made, and very disturbing.
The church ran a conference for water resilience training. Helping people work together to have resilient communities, and take positive action. The people who took part in leading it were from Minneapolis, and were from a water charity. I was speaking with them and the many issues around the world that water gives us.
I learnt a lot.
At the end of the afternoon, packing up, one of them said she had some spare tickets to a concert being given that night by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. So, we left at 7:15, and arrived just a few minutes. I was in jeans and polo shirt for the special 100th anniversary concert of the DSO. The guest half was the same music played on that opening night in 1919. The second half was music from West Side Story, Cole Porter and….. Star Wars. Then there were cup cakes at the end of the concert for everything as a birthday cake. And, even if just for a couple of hours, that’s how I ended up nearly being posh.