UN Coming To Detroit To Investigate Water Shut-Offs

October 15, 2014

The United Nations is sending representatives to Detroit to hear concerns over the city shutting off water service to thousands of customers. The question is whether water is a right…or a privilege. When Detroit began turning off water to tens of thousands of customers behind on their bills this year, the UN said shutting off the spigot to those who could not afford to pay was a human rights violation. But advocate groups say the shut-offs continue and are creating a public health risk. The city is offering payment plans for past-due customers, however, even as it hands control of its water system to a regional authority which will provide $4.5 million a year to help those in poverty pay their bills. Federal judge Steven Rhodes recently rejected a request to issue a restraining order against the shut-offs, saying he had neither the authority nor the inclination to take revenues away from the bankrupt city.