Affordable water for all? Not in Detroit

Here’s a disturbing trend about Detroit’s water system: Water rates have doubled over the past decade at the same time the city  has cut off service to some 12,000 customers.

The reason: The city is under the gun to repair its aging water and sewage treatment facilities. A federal court order requires Detroit to pay for 83 percent of those repair costs, even though the city’s wastewater system serves 77 communities in southeast Michigan.

This is happening against a backdrop of Detroit losing population (and people who pay for water) and rising unemployment.

People fleeing Detroit for the suburbs now pay less for water than those who stayed behind in the city. Something is wrong with this picture.

The People’s Water Board Coalition is trying to change this. The group wants everyone to have access to affordable water. Advocates also want a moratorium on the city shutting off residents’ water until solutions are found to the cost disparities. Seems like a reasonable request. Sheesh!

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