Water Shutoffs in Detroit
Water is a human right. Yet every week, hundreds of Detroit residents are having their water ruthlessly cut off by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, despite living on the Great Lakes, which carry one-fifth of the world’s water supply.
People are given no warning and no time to fill buckets, sinks or tubs. Families, seniors, sick and injured people and those with special needs are left without running water and working toilets, including vulnerable populations, sick people and others with special needs. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook.
The plan to cut off water to 150,000 households by the end of the summer is part of the plan to sell off and privatize Detroit’s water system. In order to make the utility attractive to investors, lower-income households are being forced to pay exorbitant rates for their water and sewer services or see their access cut. Water rates have risen in Detroit by 119 per cent in the last decade. With unemployment rates at a record high, and the poverty rate at about 40 per cent, Detroit water bills are unaffordable to a significant portion of the population.
By allowing thousands of people to be denied access to water and sanitation services, the U.S. government is violating its international obligation to respect and protect the human right to water and sanitation.
Show your solidarity with the people in Detroit. Tell U.S. President Barack Obama, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to uphold the human right to water and stop the water cut-offs!
Sign the Petition
Tell Detroit to turn the taps back on: Water is a human right!
Dear President Obama, Governor Snyder and Mayor Duggan:
Water is a human right and all people deserve access to safe and affordable water. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes that access to water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.
The federal government managed Detroit’s water and wastewater system until March 2013, but handed it over to the state after U.S. District Judge Sean Cox ruled that it was and would be within state and federal guidelines. The U.S. government is obligated to respect the human right to water and sanitation, yet the thousands of water cut-offs currently taking place in Detroit, Michigan is a violation of this basic human right.
I urge you to step in to support the Detroit community, the quality of life of its residents, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and all its customers by maintaining full public control of our municipal water system. Detroit’s water system is at risk of being sold or leased to a private buyer. The privatization of water results in higher costs and its greatest impact is on access and affordability for people who are poor.
Water is life. Please stop the water shut-offs and work to make water accessible and affordable for all.