Since the beginning of March, many local and state governments have placed moratoriums on water shutoffs, recognizing that shutting off water to residents poses immense public health risks during a pandemic.
Those moratoriums have begun to expire in communities across the country. While some Ohio communities have extended their moratoriums, persistent questions remain. How do out of work residents not just pay for current water bills, but pay down their unpaid bills, once shutoffs resume? How do cities account for this budget shortfall when making water infrastructure decisions? How will rising delinquencies in major cities be handled over time?
Last year, Praxia Partners teamed up with the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and faith based Detroit nonprofit, MOSES, to write a groundbreaking water report that offers a blueprint — for Detroit and any American city — on how to shore up urban water infrastructure systems in an equitable manner.
Belt Magazine, based in Cleveland, has an informative piece placing our work and findings within the much larger context of water equity and activism in Detroit. You can read Belt’s piece here.
COVID has highlighted the inequities in our infrastructure systems, and we’re hopeful that our recommendations in the Water Equity report can translate to impactful policy recommendations for communities across America.