One way to pass the time in Flint, Michigan during its ongoing water crisis is to count the bottles of water used and delegated on a daily basis. The numbers, as they add up, serve as a grim reminder of how difficult it has been adjusting to life residing in the crisis-stricken town.
For the Luster family, it takes 151 bottles of water to get through one day.
As tallied by CNN, the 151 water bottles are organized and assigned a purpose, falling under eight different categories, such as 36 for cooking, 36 for washing hair, 27 for drinking, 24 for dishes and the remainder being divided up for washing faces, brushing teeth and other miscellaneous tasks. There isn’t much left over, if any.
As reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses 100 gallons of a water a day, which roughly equates to 757 bottles. The EPA also factors in water needed for flushing toilets, washing hands and showering. The Luster family on average uses 50 water bottles per member, and showers in a nearby town once a week.
Like many, the Luster family tires of having to use a water bottle for every single task requiring water and still resorts to using the unfiltered tap water for washing hands.
"It just became like second nature to come in and start unscrewing caps and doing whatever you had to do," Gina Luster, the head of the household, told CNN.
After drinking the water for a year before reports revealed that there was lead in the water, the Luster family experienced several health ailments, such as hair loss and skin rashes.
"People are forgetting the emotional and mental problems that we're going through now," said Luster. "I'm never going to forget this. My 7-year-old is never going to forget this. My 13-year-old niece is never going to forget this."
151 bottles of water a day. Let that sink in.
(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)