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Detroit: Trouble over the water

Detroit: Trouble over the water

The Detroit Water Brigade has released a new video about the situation in Detroit.

The Detroit Water and Sewage Department is conducting mass water shut offs in Detroit Michigan which will affect over 120,000 account holders over a 3 month period (June-September 2014) at a rate of 3,000 per week. This accounts for over 40% of customers who are using the Detroit Water system and has been dubbed a violation of Human Rights by various organizations. 70,000 of those accounts are residential accounts which could amount to anywhere from 200,000-300,000 people directly affected.

Justin Wedes is an activist with Detroit Water Brigade. He was a key organizer in the work at St Luke’s and St Matthew’s Episcopal Church around Hurricane Sandy.

Some of the projects to help those without water:

Drinkable Water

Over the next 18 months we’re stockpiling water by the bottle and by the gallon at our Detroit office and empowering local non-profits to do the same, in order to combat dehydration.

Rain Water Collection

We’re stockpiling affordable rainwater collection systems in order to provide potable water, and water for sanitary use, in order to combat discomfort and the potential for disease.

Cold Weather Gear

With lack of running water comes a lack of circulating heat, so we’re loading up on cold weather gear to distribute to residents during the cold weather months.

More about what is being done here.

What is your church doing? According to the Water Brigade web site Church of the Messiah is a distribution point in the network.


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Chris H.

Unless they figure out how to pay the bills for the water supply it’s all band-aid measures. The city leaders have admitted that some neighborhoods are no longer viable and are trying to get people to centralize, moving into higher density areas allowing services to focus on those areas. The city’s lost half it’s population and if 40% of the remainder aren’t paying their bills drastic measures are required. McCormick doesn’t have money trees in the backyard and her workers need paid and the chemicals and machinery cost money too. Perhaps the best help would be to help people move.

Chris Harwood


The Water Brigade is fine, and people mean well, but it’s a band aid at best. How about mass sit-ins at the office of Sue McCormick, Director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department? Direct action demanding “NO SHUTOFFS!” Direct action gets the goods!

Kurt Hill

Brooklyn, NY

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