Report outlines ways to make Detroit water more accessible | Michigan Radio

Report outlines ways to make Detroit water more accessible

Jan 14, 2019

Credit jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A report released Monday details ways to make water more accessible and affordable in the city of Detroit.

The 100-page report outlines the health, social and environmental impacts of water shutoffs in the city.

It also lists seven recommendations that should be taken to address disparities in water access.

Joe Recchie is an author of the report and the founder of Praxia Partners. He says recommendations include implementing a broad scale green infrastructure initiative in the city. That includes things like planting trees and restoring wetlands.

“We see that green infrastructure having a dramatic economic development impact; increasing the value and attractiveness of the community and also creating a lot of valuable jobs for people in Detroit,” Recchie said.

Researchers also recommend an overhaul of the city's water payment policies, including making an updated water affordability plan and suspending water shutoffs in the city until improvements are made.

“That would be developing adequate due process protections. And then create an effective, easy to navigate method to challenge shutoffs and access financial support,” Recchie said.

The report calls depriving people of water a "violation of basic human rights."

“We think the health costs and economic costs of the shut offs far outweigh the collection practice,” Recchie said.

Read the full Detroit Water Equity report here.