LANSING — A new mobile app and website funded by Google.org has been built for residents of Flint and officials within the city to navigate the ongoing water crisis. The app, Mywater-Flint for Android and found online at Mywater-Flint.com, was created by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Flint and Ann Arbor campuses.
“While the attention on our community’s continued crisis has quieted down, I am extremely grateful that the researchers at the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor have dedicated so much time to creating this resource for our community, as well as to Google for providing the funding,” said state Representative Phil Phelps (D-Flushing). “Flint’s water is still contaminated, and the crisis is far from over. Residents are understandably confused and frustrated by this humanitarian failure and require a method of easily accessing the information this app provides.”
The developers of the app were focused on addressing the lack of trust that the water crisis has created, not only in Flint but statewide, by working to increase transparency. Through the app, Flint residents and city employees can:
- Locate the closest distribution centers to receive water and water filters
- Access a citywide map of where lead-contaminated water has been found
- Identify where service line workers have replaced pipes and infrastructure that connects homes to the water main, and where work is currently being done
- Find step-by-step instructions for how to test tap water
- Ascertain the likelihood that water in a location has been contaminated, among other features
Although all homes have some level of risk due to the contaminated water, the app can predict which homes are more likely to have increased lead levels based on factors including the location of the property, its age, value and size. The app also pulls data that is publicly available from many state agencies, nonprofits and other institutions to come to such conclusions.
“This app is a perfectly crafted response to our water crisis that is adapted to the technological age we live in today,” said state Representative Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint). “It provides a more convenient way to communicate critical information with residents and city officials, in order to help them receive the resources and aid that they so urgently need. I am thankful to the researchers with the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor, as well as to Google for funding this important project.”