An outage in Martin County, Ky., left residents without running water for days in January of 2018, bringing national awareness to the problems of water quality and reliability in rural areas. Now, rising country star Tyler Childers is responding to the crisis in his home state by taking action: He is paying to have 500 cases of clean water delivered to the town of Inez, in Martin County.

“It’s a big deal for someone like Tyler Childers to help raise awareness,” chairman of the Martin County Water Board Jimmy Don Kerr tells the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I think he has a real passion for the water situation.”

Childers is from the neighboring county of Lawrence, where he grew up in a town of less than 16,000 people, and is well acquainted with the plight of poor water quality and frequent outages that force residents to collect rain water for bathing. The crisis grows as rural communities lack the funding to repair broken water lines, even after federal grants and emergency funds are appropriated.

Residents who can afford bottled water buy their own, but many other households are left to cope with frequent outages and boil-water advisories. As one of the most prominent musical stars to emerge from Eastern Kentucky recently, Childers seeks to bridge the gap and raise awareness of the issue plaguing communities like the one where he was raised.

Childers' breakout album, Purgatory, became a robust fan favorite as well as garnering critical acclaim and helping the singer-songwriter take home the title of Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards ceremony.

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