Proposal for a Detroit Water Restoration Task Force

Dear Governor Whitmer:

As representatives of the Civil Rights Legal Coalition who petitioned you in November 2019 requesting your use of the executive authority to issue a moratorium on water shutoffs and restore water services in the City of Detroit, we were extremely encouraged to see your March 9, 2020 announcement with Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan, establishing the “Coronavirus COVID-19 Water Restart Plan” (“Restart Plan”) and your subsequent issuance of Executive Order 2020-28 on March 29, 2020, mandating statewide restoration of water. The executive order will provide baseline data across the state that should help ensure a crisis like the one facing Detroit doesn’t happen again.

Unfortunately, despite the steps you took to get water turned back on, we have serious concerns about the process implemented by the City of Detroit and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and the results produced thus far. The restoration of water services to date under the Restart Plan is approximately 1,100 occupied residences, which is far short of the actual numbers of water deprived homes. Data submitted by DWSD through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to Bridge Magazine shows that as of January 2020, the number of occupied homes without water service was approximately 9,500, a number that reflected ONLY 2019 service terminations. We urge you to act immediately to understand why this vast discrepancy exists and to ameliorate it. Under the Restart Plan, you can obtain the list of the 9,500 occupied homes and have water restored to those residents now.

more at: Cover Letter PDF

Full Proposal PDF


The People’s Water Board Coalition advocates for the human rights to water and sanitation and equitable access and affordability for impacted communities.


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