On Friday, July 18, thousands of people marched through downtown Detroit to call attention to a major public health crisis as the city shuts off the water for residents who are behind on their bills.
Chanting, “Fight! Fight! Fight! Water is a human right!” and “Whose water? Our water!” about 5,000 Detroit residents and allies from across the country—including many who were in town for the annual Netroots Nation blogger conference—marched from the Cobo convention center to Hart Plaza near the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.
There’s plenty of free water available right in Detroit. It’s in the Detroit River, which (shockingly) is much cleaner than it was a number of years (and decades) ago.
Get out your bucket, walk to the river, dip it, there you go. Water.
The problem is that these people don’t want the water that way — of unknown quality, with them individually responsible for its potability — for filtering it and perhaps boiling it before drinking it, and certainly not for disposing it once used.
Water and sewer systems don’t build and maintain themselves and the fees for them are paid by the users.
There are people who claimed to be ten grand in arrears for water bills. How the hell does that happen — did you not pay the bill for 20 years? It sure sounds like it!
Here you go folks on the water rates that the UN calls “exhorbitant”:
Base connection charge for a 5/8″ line (sufficient for a single-family home) is $6.30. Each 1,000 cubic feet of water is $21.71; that’s approximately 7,500 gallons. For perspective modern showerheads are supposed to flow no more than 2 gpm, so if you take a 10 minute shower per day every day of the month that’s 600 gallons of water consumed, or less than 1/10th of the first thousand feet.
Now here’s the rub — you also have to pay for sewage, and that’s more than the water pretty-much everywhere, including in Detroit. Your sewage charge is going to be about double the water price, basically.
Oh by the way, it is here in Florida too.
You want piped water and sewer? Someone’s got to pay for it. You don’t pay a $100 bill for 10 years and run up 10 large in unpaid bills? The only question I have is why you weren’t cut off 9 years and 10 months ago!
Again, there’s lots of water for Detroit residents available free of charge. You just have to transport it from the source yourself, along with insuring that it’s safe to consume.
For the service of transportation and sanitation you wind up expending resource — either directly with your personal effort, or by proxy using money.