Victory in Detroit: Activism Helps End Water Crisis


After a long-fought battle, the control of Detroit's Water and Sewage Department was handed back to the mayor's office. And strong activism was the key to this big win for the resident of Detroit. While more things need to be put in place, the mayor and city council is expected to approve a water affordability plan that will "cap a household's water bill at no more than 3 percent of their income," according to Netroots Nation. 

 A statement made from Detroit Water Brigade on the end to emergency management of Detroit's water:

We commend the move by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, City Council and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes to return control of Detroit’s water to the democratically elected leadership of the city of Detroit. This is a positive step in the direction of popular control of Detroit’s water and other common resources by the people of Detroit.

This decision comes after months of sustained pressure from a broad cross-section of Detroiters and their international allies: protest marches, direct action blockades, hundreds of thousands of petition signers, and a recently-filed injunction in U.S. Bankruptcy Court calling for an immediate end to the shutoff program. We are proud to work hand-in-hand with Detroiters of all stripes to affirm the human right to access to clean drinking water and sanitation and get a long-term Water Affordability Plan. We also look forward to a day when all of Detroit’s public services are returned from privatization and mismanagement to full popular control by accountable and democratically elected officials.

Finally, we are committed to working in good faith with all interested parties to ensure that every single Detroiter has access to water. We call on everyone – not matter how much you owe or can pay – to join us this Saturday, August 2nd, from 8:30am to 5pm at 13303 E. McNichols Rd at the DWSD Customer Service Center in order to apply for financial assistance and get on an affordable payment plan. We will have Water Advocates on hand to counsel families and support them, as well as transportation, free food, water and childcare for any family that calls us in advance at 313-279-0608 Extension 1. This is just one step in our commitment to ensuring that the thousands of Detroiters without water today get access back, and every Detroiter can keep their water on.

To help struggling Detroit residents pay their water bills, click here.

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