A piece posted yesterday by Susan Milligan in the US News has provided an update on the water access crisis in Detroit. The title of the post is “Too Powerless to Live, The poorest Detroit citizens are being deprived of access to clean water.” As discussed in earlier posts in this blog, Detroit has (on and off) been shutting off water access to people who haven’t paid their bills.
While the city has enrolled 30,000 people in a program to allow payments over time, one still has to put 10% down to qualify for the program. This of course leaves the most needy out, meaning that they have no access to tap water. It is outrageous to deny people access to water, which is totally essential for life. Detroit has been rebuked by the UN, which has declared water as a human right.
It is our view that Detroit’s leadership is not only behaving atrociously toward its own citizens, but that they are unbelievably blind about the results of denying water to their citizens. Clean water is a basic essential for healthy living. The results will include not just increased financial stress on the families effected, but increased disease – which will cost far more than the water.
Susan Milligan makes a great analogy in her piece. She points out that when the financial industry came under great stress in 2008, the government came to its relief, recognizing that the negative impacts of their failure would be severe. It’s unfortunate that people apparently count for less in this parallel situation.
See the US News piece here.
It’s time that the world acknowledged that water is a human right – as the UN did years ago.