A report out this week shows a significant number of Americans don’t have access to basic services like running water. And many of the places that lack plumbing are in the Mountain West.

“Small pockets of communities without complete plumbing exist in every state,” write the researchers, who also say the gap isn’t driven by people who choose to live off-the-grid, but instead by a lack of basic infrastructure.

“There’s good reason to believe that we do have pockets of folks who are living without the most basic resources, certainly across the nation but especially across the Mountain West,” said Stephen Gasteyer, a sociologist with Michigan State University who led the research. “We know there are pockets of real poverty in the Mountain West. What is needed is a real concerted effort to try to deal with the most basic services and get those to everybody.”

Data from the American Community Survey show that there are about 27,000 households that lack complete plumbing in the region, which is about 0.4% percent of all households in the region. That group includes more than: 6,000 homes in Colorado, 3,000 homes in Idaho, 2,000 homes in Montana, 3,000 homes in Nevada, 7,000 homes in New Mexico, 2,000 homes in Utah and 800 homes in Wyoming.




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