The city of Flint, Michigan, is a hot topic right now, one mentioned in political debate questions and covered on nearly every news station.
Most recently, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vowed to do everything in his power to solve the Flint water crisis, asking legislators for $28 million in order to fund a series of immediate actions.
During his State of the State speech Tuesday night, the Republican governor apologized for the crisis and how the government failed residents of Flint.
"To begin, I'd like to address the people of Flint," Snyder said. "Your families face a crisis, a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented. I am sorry and I will fix it."
The funds would be directed towards bottled water; filters; assistance to the city of Flint; testing and replacing fixtures in schools and other high-risk locations; treatment of children with high lead levels, services for the treatment of potential behavioral health issues, support for children's and adolescent's health centers; and an infrastructure integrity study for pipes and connections.
Snyder also released a detailed timeline of the steps officials have already taken. Snyder also announced he will release all of his e-mails related to the crisis. Speaking of the long-term consequences, he said the $28 million will not be the last budget request for Flint.
The Flint water crisis: How did we get here?
So what exactly is going on 70 miles away from the shores of the Great Lakes? A brief explainer:
Back in April 2014, the struggling industrial town was in a financial state of emergency, and those in charge of the city's budget decided to temporarily switch Flint's water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The city paid the city of Detroit to pump water from Lake Huron, so the switch was viewed as cost-effective, and was supposed to be temporary while a new state-run supply was constructed.
The problem? The Flint River, a tributary that runs through the town, has a reputation for its filth.
Not long after the water-supply switch, residents began to complain that their water looked, smelled, and tasted funny.
Virginia Tech researchers found the water was highly corrosive, and that because so many service lines to Flint are made of lead, the element had leached into the water of the city's homes. A class-action lawsuit has been filed that alleges the state Department of Environmental Quality didn't treat the water for corrosion in accordance with federal law.
CNN explains in greater detail exactly how the water became so toxic in Flint.
Flint switched back to the Lake Huron water supply in October last year, but the damage was already done to the lead pipes. Now the National Guard has come in to assist the state in handing out filters and bottled water to the city's nearly 100,000 residents.
Flint's Mayor Karen Weaver, who took office two months ago, and Snyder, who has been governor since 2011, have both declared states of emergency, and Snyder called in the National Guard.
President Barack Obama also issued a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the requests for federal assistance from Weaver and Snyder.
What can be done to fix it?
The answer will likely be a combination of science that cleans up the water, expensive infrastructure upgrades to replace dangerous lead pipes and in-depth investigations to prevent it from happening again. On a more serious note, the long-term health implications of exposing thousands of children to dangerously high levels of lead will need to be addressed.
During Sunday's Democratic debate, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders touched on the issue.
Sanders called for Snyder, a Republican, to resign, asserting that "a man who acts that irresponsibly should not stay in power."
Clinton said she sent a campaign aid to meet with Mayor Weaver.
"I think every single American should be outraged," Clinton said. "We've had a city in the United States of America where the population, which is poor in many ways and majority African-American, has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water. And the governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care."
Snyder responded on Twitter that "political statements and finger pointing" were a distraction to those working to solve the crisis.
Celebrities have pitched in as well. Cher partnered with Icelandic Glacial to donate over 140,000 bottles of water.