Government actions taken to date have been drastically inadequate to meet residents’ needs. Thousands in Detroit and across the state remain without water as this virus continues to spread. Please check back here for updates, resources, and things you can do to support this work.
Call or tweet at Congress to support a House Bill calling for a national moratorium on utility shutoffs! More info here.
Call Governor Whitmer (517-373-3400) and Mayor Duggan (313-224-3400) to demand that urgent action be taken to restore water access to all residents.
Join the Metro Detroit COVID-19 Support Facebook Group.
We the People of Detroit is collecting cases of water for those without access. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to help.
We are in a frightening and dire state of crisis and urgently request these seven responses through the authority of the Office of the Governor:
1. Since you’ve declared a State of Emergency, please use your powers to deploy federal and state resources. Government aid would include the logistical expertise and capacity of the National Guard, as well as the deployment of water system personnel and plumbers from across the state; and a wider posting of public health information in non-digital formats accessible for low-income residents such as newspapers, billboards, leaflets and bus signs.
2. Establish immediately public water stations across the City of Detroit where residents can acquire gallon jugs of water, and where community groups can pick them up for delivery to homes that do not have the capacity to get it themselves. Also, (re-)establish government-funded water stations in Flint, Benton Harbor and other impacted communities across the state. Moreover, we strongly request that this water be derived from municipally sourced packagers and not from profit-making bottlers that thousands of Michigan residents have opposed in EGLE public hearings.
3. Make available at these water stations, gallon containers of bleach as well as sanitizers, disinfectants, and paper towels for impacted households to clean their homes properly.
4. Direct Michigan DHHS to expand and extend State Emergency Relief (SER) benefits to include more resources, less restrictions and quicker responses for benefits to include water heater replacements, water payment assistance (particularly when the moratorium ends), and essential household water line flushing; and to cease mandatory child protective service reporting requirements of households without water.
5. Extend the moratorium on shutoffs indefinitely and especially until DWSD has confirmed that it has been in contact with residents at EVERY disconnected home, and made significant efforts for restoration and plumbing repairs.
Additionally, as the immediate crisis is alleviated:
1. Ban future water shutoffs on vulnerable households, i.e., those where babies, children, pregnant women, elders, persons with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions reside.
2. Enact a statewide, low-income based water affordability program assessed on a household’s ability to pay. This will allow impoverished customers to enroll in sustainable payment plans without service interruption.
The People’s Water Board Coalition advocates for the human rights to water and sanitation and equitable access and affordability for impacted communities.