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http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/07/detroit-water-shutoff-controversy-igniting-nationwide-debate-105641.html

 

 

DETROIT, Mich. (WJLA/AP) -- Detroit's massive municipal water department, which has been widely criticized for widespread service shutoffs to thousands of customers, drew nationwide attention Thursday on Capitol Hill.

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ap453229509813_296.jpg People stand outside Detroit City Hall, protesting thousands of residential water-service shutoffs by Detroit's water department. (AP Photo)

Due to public pressure, the department has temporarily suspended shutoffs for customers who were 60 days or more behind on bills for 15 days.

But with the prospect of shutoffs resuming in a week, some members of Congress are now asking the Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to intervene in what they contend is a humanitarian crisis facing a major U.S. city.

It's "a little bit inhumane to put it kindly," Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said of the water crisis facing residents in his state's largest city.

"Water is a lifeline," added Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), "it is a human rights issue and if necessary there should be federal intervention."

Detroit's water system serves about 700,000 city residents and 4 million people in southeastern Michigan, but the city-owned water system has about $6 billion in debt that's covered by bill payments. As of July 1, more than $89 million was owed on nearly 92,000 past-due residential and commercial accounts.

Water officials began an aggressive shut off campaign in March, disconnecting 500 customers that month. More than 3,000 lost service in April and about 4,500 in May.

The shutoffs topped 7,200 in June and collected $800,000 last month compared to about $150,000 in June 2013. But several groups appealed to the United Nations for support, and three U.N. experts responded the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water. A march and other protests also were held in Detroit.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is currently run by a board of commissioners, but the entity reported to previous mayors before the city's emergency manager Kevyn Orr was appointed as emergency manager in August 2013, a job that tasked him with overseeing the city's finances and most operations.

The city's bankruptcy trial is slated to start in mid-August, and Orr's 18-month term is up in September.

In an order announced this week, Orr restored control of the water system to the mayor's office.

Earlier this month, the federal judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy said the shutoffs were bringing bad publicity, and water officials later disclosed they were suspending the shutoffs to educate customers on payment plans. That grace period is set to end Aug. 6.

Mayor Mike Duggan has said water department officials could have been more sensitive in how they handled delinquent bills and the increased shutoffs. He promised to have a "new plan shortly" on how to deal with the issue.

"I've heard complaints from many Detroiters who are trying to make payment arrangements, but who have faced long waits on the telephone or long lines at the DWSD offices," Duggan said. "We've got to do a much better job of supporting those who are trying to do the right thing in making those payment arrangements."



Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/07/detroit-water-shutoff-controversy-igniting-nationwide-debate-105641.html#ixzz39KRTS4mg 
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Water is a human right and those unable to afford it should be provided it by the government.

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Water is a human right and those unable to afford it should be provided it by the government.

 

the people are still free to get water, its the delivery that's being turned off.

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want free water? go to a lake with a bucket and filter out all the crap yourself

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the people are still free to get water, its the delivery that's being turned off.

How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

want free water? go to a lake with a bucket and filter out all the crap yourself

Actually, even collecting rainwater is illegal as all water is publicly owned.

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How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

How did people survive before water was pumped straight to their house...

I do agree this should have been handled better, but you are talking about people being 60 days behind. If you go 60 days without paying something, what is the likelihood that they will ever pay?

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How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

Same way as anyone else on earth without running water - in anyway they can. Notice: I am actually FOR people with income crisis to have free water delivery.  The government is doing a good service by delivering FREE water for an extremely cheap price. Plenty of water service companies provide water with FREE delivery but at a cost for the water. Either way, this stuff costs money... and lots of it. Everything in the world can't be free even if we would like it to be.

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How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

Actually, even collecting rainwater is illegal as all water is publicly owned.

 

I'm pretty sure you can buy water in bottles

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So, let me get this straight... they didn't pay their bills, but now want their water for free.... hmm, simple analogy

 

If I don't pay my iphone's finance charges, said phone will be taken away.

 

In hindsight, as the previous poster said, there is always bottled water,

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The government is doing a good service by delivering FREE water for an extremely cheap price. Plenty of water service companies provide water with FREE delivery but at a cost for the water.

I'm confused, as you say 'free' water and then say for an 'extremely cheap price'. You then go on to say that the delivery is free but the water costs.

 

My point is that water is a human right, not only for drinking but for hygiene. The government should be stepping in to cover the costs for those unable to afford it. Those with large water debts should be able to structure it in a way whereby they still receive water.

 

Either way, this stuff costs money... and lots of it. Everything in the world can't be free even if we would like it to be.

I'm not talking about giving everybody free Ferraris or mansions, I'm talking about water - something that is essential for human life.

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How did people survive before water was pumped straight to their house...

 

Badly. 

 

The need for plumbed water in houses was identified during a cholera outbreak in Victorian London that was caused by an infected  public well.  As a result, access to clean water is considered to be a fairly fundamental need that improves the communities hygiene, saves lives and reduces healthcare costs.  People who can't afford water bills always have access to a limited supply in the civilised world.

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How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

Actually, even collecting rainwater is illegal as all water is publicly owned.

That story is not the best to use.in this case.  The linked story is about a person who dammed up an area and created his own lake. 

He did not setup for reasonable personal use.  Collection of Rainwater for personal use is allowed by law.

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This is missing an important fact that was also omitted on purpose the last time it was brought up, these aren't the poor, they already get their water for free, these are people that can afford top apy and aren't, they need to pay up like the rest of us non leeches do 

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Water is a human right and those unable to afford it should be provided it by the government.

 

arnoldmars.jpg

 

Come on Cohagen, give these people air!

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That story is not the best to use.in this case.  The linked story is about a person who dammed up an area and created his own lake. 

He did not setup for reasonable personal use.  Collection of Rainwater for personal use is allowed by law.

He was collecting rainwater on his own land.

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I'm confused, as you say 'free' water and then say for an 'extremely cheap price'. You then go on to say that the delivery is free but the water costs.

 

My point is that water is a human right, not only for drinking but for hygiene. The government should be stepping in to cover the costs for those unable to afford it. Those with large water debts should be able to structure it in a way whereby they still receive water.

 

 

I'm not talking about giving everybody free Ferraris or mansions, I'm talking about water - something that is essential for human life.

 

Actually, what you have said is actually already on the Books in Detroit.  The people that are getting their water shut off have not responded to notices that their water is going to get shut off.  The notice contains the information on how to either get on a budget plan or how to receive financial aid.  The name of the program is DWARP.

 

There are things the person themselves need to do to get enrolled in this program. 

He was collecting rainwater on his own land.

 

He was diverting over 20 Olympic size swimming pools worth of water away from the rest of the state by building dams. That is not Personal Use, which is legal. 

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I'm pretty sure you can buy water in bottles

 

If they can't afford their water bill, what makes you think they can afford bottled water with a 1000% markup? 

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Water is a human right and those unable to afford it should be provided it by the government.

Uhm...no it isn't.  

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Keep in mind, most water utilities bill you quarterly.  These people had three months to save funds to pay the bill, plus the added time for being late.  The late fee water utilities charge is the lowest late fee of any utility - typically just a $10 late fee.

 

And, even if you can't afford to pay the entire bill when due, paying a portion won't result in the water being turned off.  

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I didn't know Detroit took bathes. :p

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How are they able to get water if their water supply is being shut-off? Unless I'm missing something.  :huh:

Actually, even collecting rainwater is illegal as all water is publicly owned.

How were humans able to get water before there were municipalities/governments pumping it for us?

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If they can't afford their water bill, what makes you think they can afford bottled water with a 1000% markup? 

 

Which is just tap water anyway.

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Uhm...no it isn't.  

 

 

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

 

See article 25, I that would cover it. Of course, the US fails on many of those rights so I don't expect much.

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http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

 

See article 25, I that would cover it. Of course, the US fails on many of those rights so I don't expect much.

 

The US fails miserably on quite a lot of the basic human rights, especially those in article 25.

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How were humans able to get water before there were municipalities/governments pumping it for us?

 

Whenever and where ever, I guess. Depends where you live and what you have around you. Lots of people in the world do not have a reliable source of *clean* water and the consequences can be dire. They may spend hours a day just getting water (thus unable to spend that time on other useful things) and it may make them ill. A lot of people die because they don't have clean water, including many children. 

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