Water in Detroit has been tapped out for many residents- literally.
The city shut off water beginning in March to many of its customers over one to two months late on bills. The act, which is similar to cutting off the flow of electricity to house owners who failed to pay their bills, is being railed as a human rights violation. The U.N. even plans to intervene, with a formal report for the U.N. Human Rights Council and private policy talks with Obama. NBC reported the story today, quoting both people whose water was turned off and activists appalled by the situation.
To be frank, the idea of water as basic right is something taken for granted.
Water.org states that 780 million people lack access to clean water worldwide- more than 2.5 times the actual population of the United States.
It is a human rights violation; it goes against rights established by the U.N. that all people deserve safe drinking water. It’s a necessity, so theoretically, water should be more affordable. The human population cannot sustain without it, so why charge a rate that users cannot afford?
I understand that the city cut off the supply because they weren’t receiving necessary payment. Cities, after all, operate virtually as businesses or corporations of their own. I see the economical side of the argument; they cannot provide the water without compensation for its delivery.
However, being a necessity, it’s inhumane to cut off supply. You cannot force residents to rely on more expensive bottled water or find donations.
The root of the problem lies in the cost- the money needed. Being a driving factor, the only ethical option is to find ways in which to decrease the cost of water in the city of Detroit, not deprive residents of it.
Though access to running, clean water is underappreciated, often unrecognized, and may not be a right stated in the constitution, it’s a necessity that should be available to all. Just as villages in Asia and Africa deserve access to drinking water, residents of Detroit do as well.
Little things like this are blessings and should be more appreciated, but even more so, they should be affordable and accessible.
All corruption aside, the Detroit government needs to find a way to drive down cost and provide access to water once again, or else the number of people without access to clean water will now exceed 780 million people, and consist of more Americans.