The founder of a civic movement that exposed the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is one of the recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.
Four-headed mother Lee Anne Walters led a civic movement to investigate tap water for health hazards.
Tests showed that lead levels in their water were seven times the permissible limit
In 2014, the water in Mrs. Walter's house became brownish and she noticed rashes in her three-year-old twins. The hair of her daughters then fell together in groups.
Walters spent months reading technical documents about the Flint water system. She then worked with environmental engineer dr. Marc Edwards of the Virginia Tech, who helped her to conduct extensive water tests in the city.
Methodically tried out every zip code in Flint and set up a system that maintained integrity over three weeks over 100 hours a week.
They showed lead concentrations of up to 13,200 parts per billion in some parts of the city – more than twice the US Agency for Environmental Protection considered a Dangerous Agency (EPA)
Contamination was attributed to the city's water supply from Detroit's system, which springs from Lake Huron and instead draws water from the Flint River.
Flint was in a financial state of emergency and this switch was supposed to save the city millions of dollars.
But the water from the Flint River was more corrosive than the waters from Lake Huron and the pipes began to leach lead a potent neurotoxin.
The city has since reverted to Detroit's water system. But Flint continues to struggle with the consequences of the crisis, and the replacement of pipes continues.
In their quote, the jurors praised Ms. Walter's "inquisitive, persistent, and logical mind," adding, "Their community spirit and powerful morality The compass proved equally crucial to their ability to reach Flint residents and experts and organize. "
Ms Walters is this year's recipient from North America, but the prize is also awarded to activists from several other regions of the world.
Frenchwoman Claire Nouvian led a data-driven campaign against what she and many other activists considered to be the destructive practice of deep-sea trawling. Their actions helped to secure French support for a ban on practice.
Another winner this year, Khanh Nguy Thi, worked with government agencies in Vietnam to reduce the country's dependence on coal for power generation.