TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Clean water activist and environmental advocate Erin Brockovich is blasting Texas’ handling of its current water situation following this week’s winter storm.
A historic winter storm brought freezing temperatures across the state, leaving thousands without power or water. With so many now on a boil water advisory, she says this is a widespread failure.
“Now you’re looking at a state that practically has no water with 13 million people under a boil water notice,” Brockovich said. “It’s complete state mismanagement.”
Brockovich, who was once portrayed by Julia Roberts in a film depicting her journey into activism, said the Texas infrastructure is not prepared to take on harsh weather conditions like the recent freeze.
“You have a failing infrastructure, you need to be on a national grid, you have a national water crisis, and my gosh, you’re not responding to the needs of the state of Texas,” Brockovich said. “They need water, they need food, they need warmth immediately.”
This comes shortly after Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for the state of Texas. In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he will ask President Joe Biden to declare Texas a major disaster area.
“Infrastructures need to be reformed, they need to be updated they need to be done yesterday, and I don’t know why we just continue to have this political infighting and we don’t get busy at the task at hand,” Brockovich said.
This crisis is part of a larger picture, according to Brockovich. She expects Texas to see more extreme weather events in the future and advises residents to prepare themselves.
“We as individuals need to be prepared,” Brockovich said. “Expect this to happen again. Have more water on hand, look for reverse osmosis systems for your houses, look at generators in case you have these power outages. Look at cold weather coming, storing up on blankets. These are the things that I think we’ve taken for granted or always thought that governments or agencies had our back on, and this could never happen in America, but it is happening. At an individual level, be prepared.”
There are 725 Texas water systems that have issued boil water notices, affecting 13 million Texans, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“We certainly need to start expecting more climate changes, more floods, more hurricanes, more conditions like you’re having in Texas,” Brockovich said. “You’re looking at an infrastructure and a water system and a power grid that will not be able to sustain that.”
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