The digital divide is a serious issue between rural and urban America, but some 2 million people in rural America even lack access to piped, clean water and plumbing, according to a study from the U.S. Water Alliance.
Some of those communities are in Southern Appalachia. This Washington Post article describes a man in McDowell County, West Virginia, not far from the VIrginia Blue Ridge, who fills two 200-gallon tanks each week from a creek down the mountain from his house to provide wash water for his family. He uses a pump, and hose on loan from a local fire department.
Politicians and local utilities have promised for years to extend water utilities to such underserved, largely poor, areas. Much like the promises of broadband elsewhere, they have not delivered.