American Water Safety History

Every so often I am reminded about the need for safe water. A site called GOOD has put forth a list of disasters related to water in American history. They start with the latest one, a tragic story that has directly impacted the health of soldiers at home:

For years, U.S. health officials have claimed that although the drinking water at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune is contaminated, it poses no danger to Marines or their families. This April, the government reversed itself, saying that its assessment of the water contained “omissions” and “inaccuracies,” and adding that a million people over the course of three decades may have been exposed to the carcinogen benzene in their water. Fifteen hundred former Lejeune Marines, some of whom are now afflicted with rare lymphomas, have filed lawsuits seeking more than $33 billion. Sadly, Lejeune is just one of the many recent poisoned-water cover-ups in American history. There are others going on all the time. Here are some more of the worst.

A phrase like “some of the worst” is a research cop-out. Inquiring minds want to know what are the worst? Where is the baseline for “worst”. Number of people affected? Area? Length of time? Where is the comprehensive list of disasters? I don’t ask just to be facetious but also because I think it will help put cybersecurity in perspective, especially with regard to SCADA systems.

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