Detroit Water Shut off Life Without Water Voices from Detroit Circle of Blue J. Carl Ganter Todd Zawistowski

The U.S. government spends more than $450 million each year to provide water and sanitation to poor and vulnerable populations around the world. It’s the first rule of international development, and it brings health, education, and prosperity.

Yet in Detroit — a city under emergency management that is reeling from decades of deindustrialization and neighborhood decay — the poorest are losing access to water.

Roughly 17,000 residences since March have had their water shut off because of overdue bills. Meantime, residents are pushing back, taking water from fire hydrants to drink, cook, bathe, and flush their toilets, and community leaders have organized emergency water deliveries.

More Voices from Detroit

Detroit Water Shut off Valerie Jean North End Community Leader Circle of Blue Todd Zawistowski
Detroit Water Shut off Isabella Valerie Jean North End Detroit Circle of Blue J. Carl Ganter water delivery
Detroit Water Shut off DeMeeko Williams Detroit Water Brigade emergency relief DWB Circle of Blue Todd Zawistowski
Reverend Bill Wylie-Kellerman St. Peter's Episcopal Church Detroit Water Shut off The People's Water Board
William Copeland Will See Hip Hop Music Artist EMEAC East Michigan Environmental Action Coalition Detroit Water Shut off Water Warrior
Dennis Black Wayne State University Detroit Water Shut off We the people of Detroit

Photos: J. Carl Ganter and Todd Zawistowski
Text and Production: Aubrey Ann Parker
Logistics and Outreach: Akasha Sutherland
Design: Ali Prentice
Tech Assistance: Kaye LaFond
Transcription: Miles Beauchamp
Web Production: Jordan B. Bates