Twenty-year-old Jaden Smith is working with a church in Flint, Michigan after the soon to be five year anniversary of when the water crisis began in the Michigan town. Jaden and his father Will founded, with Drew Fitzgerald, JUST WATER, after Jaden was upset by pollution in the ocean. The father and son duo wanted to find a solution to the plastic and pollution that affects the environment so the pair created the water company. According to the JUST WATER website, the water used is 100% spring water that is not excessively bottled from the falls, the water is paid for at an ethical rate, the packaging is mostly paper and sugarcane, and the bottle is reusable and recyclable. This same ethical approach, as outlined on the water company’s impact page, is being used to help the residents of Flint, Michigan.
Since 2014, residents of Flint have accepted over 5 million water bottles that were being given out by First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. Citizens were unable to drink tap water because the town had switched its source of water to one containing high amounts of lead, that tasted, smelled, and looked odd, and impacted the heath of those who used it. However, the Church has reached a decline in water bottle donations and residents still need access to clean water. JUST WATER is planning that by teaming up with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and the Church’s partner Black Millennials of Flint, that residents do not need to take water bottles from the Church and could have easy filtrated water for everyday use.
This filtration system is called “The Water Box,” and reportedly filters out lead and other water contaminants. It will produce up to ten gallons of drinking water a minute, five gallons in 30 seconds and will be available at the Church every day at certain distribution times.
“When I was young I would be surfing and I would go to school and learn about the Pacific patches and how there’s plastic floating in the ocean. That’s what really inspired us as a family to star JUST,” Jaden said on The Today Show.
JUST WATER brings attention back to the Flint crisis after no help has been given truly to the community. Politicians such as state representatives tried to downplay the seriousness and truth of the water crisis. President Trump’s attempt to help Flint has been reported as unhelpful for residents, and well-off entrepreneur Elon Musk donated $400 thousand for seventh and eight graders in Flint to have laptops. JUST WATER’s business plan for its water and its goal in helping Flint is noble, and hopefully will truly help Flint residents have clean accessible water.
Photo: JUST WATER Campaign