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This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry talk about the politics of water.

Steve Carmody

Many Flint residents have been complaining about the quality of their tap water since the city stopped getting water from Detroit. Some people blame the Flint River. The city’s been using the river since April as its drinking water source. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An outside expert is making some surprising recommendations to fix Flint’s water woes.

The report issued Tuesday recommends Flint discontinue the process of fluoridation, among other things.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dozens of people braved the arctic cold to march through downtown Flint today. 

Chants of “What do we want? Good water. When do we want it? Now!” echoed through downtown Flint.  

The protesters alternated between waving homemade signs and hunching over to ward off icy winds which knocked the wind chill well below zero.      

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s search for a consultant to help with its water problems is down to one, by default.

Only one company applied for the water consultant job.  

Emergency Manager Jerry Ambrose says he “would have preferred more.” 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After a brief delay, the city of Flint will finally start getting its drinking water exclusively from the Flint River starting this afternoon.

City leaders had hoped to start tapping the Flint River earlier this week. But the state Department of Environmental Quality refused to give its final OK until more work was done on a disinfectant system.

The DEQ has now given its approval.

So this afternoon at 2 p.m., Flint city officials will shut the valve on the intake pipe that brings water to the city from Detroit.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A newspaper reports that many Michigan dams are old and need upgrades, especially the Hamilton dam in downtown Flint.

State dam safety chief Byron Lane tells the Detroit Free Press that dams are like any aging public infrastructure. He says they can be a "ticking time bomb."

The newspaper reported Sunday that the Hamilton dam on the Flint River is considered to be in unsatisfactory shape, along with the Otsego and Trowbridge dams on the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A decision could come tonight that may determine if the city of Flint will look elsewhere to get its tap water.

The Flint city council will consider whether to sign on with a project to build a pipeline to carry water from Lake Huron to Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac Counties.

The quarter billion dollar Karegnondi Water Authority project has been in the discussion stages for years, but actual work on the pipeline may begin soon.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Leaders from Flint will meet with state officials in Lansing tomorrow. The conversation will be about water.

Flint has been getting its municipal water from Detroit’s water system for more than 30 years.   But Flint officials say the Detroit water is becoming more and more expensive, and their city needs an alternative.

They want to be part of a project to tap water from Lake Huron.

“We expect that within 36 months…we could have a fresh, raw water supply to our water treatment plant in Flint,” says Howard Croft, Flint's director of infrastructure.