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In a time of COVID-19, millions of Americans are plagued by water debt

In a time of COVID-19, millions of Americans are plagued by water debt
August 5, 2020 Circle of Blue

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Find all the work HERE.


Mass water shutoffs in Detroit following the city’s bankruptcy proceedings brought the issue of water affordability and water shutoffs into public notoriety in the U.S. in 2014.

The threat of COVID-19 brought the issue back to the forefront as the CDC urged people to wash their hands frequently.

Read Circle of Blue’s full piece on the water debt millions of Americans – including in Great Lakes states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois – are facing: 

Millions of Americans Are In Water Debt

Read Great Lakes Now’s coverage of water shutoffs:

Water for All: Milwaukee, Chicago lead in ensuring water during COVID-19 crisis

Do More: Water rights advocates call for action from Gov. Whitmer, Mayor Duggan for residents without water

Environmental Justice During COVID-19: Communities bear extra burden


Featured image: Rebecca Fritz opens her past-due bill from the City of Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. (Photo credit: J. Carl Ganter)

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