As a result of the winter storm that has hit southern US states since Sunday the 14th of December, some 13 million people in the US state of Texas had no access to safe and clean water as of this past Saturday.
As a result, people resorted to heating snow to get drinking water, according to the BBC.
The cold weather resulted in water distribution, pipes freezing and water supply halted in some areas.
Utilities recommended almost half of the population in Texas boil their water as the supply was no longer safe and clean. Texas has a total population of 29 million people.
The expected increase in temperatures in the coming week is expected to usher in further challenges, such as flooding and more shortages of water due to damaged pipes. Temperatures are expected to triple in the coming week.
On Sunday the 21st, temperatures increased to -15 degrees Celcius from -21 degrees Celcius recorded in the past week.
The crisis has led to President Joe Biden approving a major disaster declaration to unlock federal funding to help Texas boost its response and recovery efforts.
Alvin Migues of the Salvation Army in Texas said it will take more than 18 months for the State to recover from the damage caused by the storm.
Up to 60 deaths had so far been reported by Sunday.
However, authorities are saying it is still early to link the winter storm to climate change.
Despite this, the event has highlighted the need for the US to better prepare itself for disasters such as this.
The mayor of Houston said the disaster was “foreseeable and preventable”, however the lack of preparation was obvious.