Home | About | Donate

What Is It Like to Live Without Running Water? Detroit Families Know


What Is It Like to Live Without Running Water? Detroit Families Know

Zenobia Jeffries

Each day, Catherine Caldwell hauls three gallons of bottled water to her bathroom and two to her kitchen. She and her family use the water for flushing the toilet, washing hands, and— after heating it on the stove—cleaning dishes and cooking. For bathing, they head to her mother-in-law’s house a few blocks away.


Years ago I lived in a house whose water came from an intermittent stream. During the late summer I was often without running water for three months or more. When you lose running water the meaning of conservation really hits home. Not only did I not have any hot water, since it was a half mile walk into the house I had to carry in all of the water I used. Eventually I became accustomed to using five gallons or less a day. It was a lot more inconvenient than having water on tap but I managed also encouraged by knowing as soon as the fall rains came I would have water again. When I got water again it really made me appreciate the convenience water on tap provides. I came away with two lessons everyone should take note of going into the future: running water delivered to your house is an incredible convenience and you can use less water than 100 gallons per day and still have a quality life. Change the minimum water bill so you pay only for what you use and that way you will have some control over what you want to spend for water; no minimum charge so if you don't use any water you don't owe anything. Water and it's delivery to your house aren't free and you should expect to pay the cost for getting and delivering it. That said, water should have been regulated long before electricity; I can live with electricity but not water. The last thing anyone needs is an essential commodity being sold by a private corporation whose primary goal is increasing value for its stockholders, not supplying and delivering water.


Why is it that no one – NO ONE – ever mentions the root cause of these problems that just keep growing —


I looked up the charges, found 2015 figs of just over $22 per 1000 cu ft. Translated into metric (used in uk), this is a bit over 28 cu metres - way more than I (a single person household) use in a year! That amount of water (alone) would cost me $185 approx, before sewerage charges, a flat groundwater charge and a standing charge (the latter two quarterly).
Detroit sewerage charge is over $50 per 1000cu ft. My (UK) provider also charges as if 95% of water used becomes waste. With all the varied costs added, my bills come to around $37.50 per quarter (£1 = $1.25 today). Multiplied by 4 (people) and divided by 3 (for a monthly fig)that would be only $50. Hardly half a months income - even at my considerably higher UK costs. Obviously people need to be far more aware of how much water they're simply wasting.
How on earth are people racking up charges that are (per the article) half their monthly incomes? You'd have to be increfibly profligate with water to reach that! Average use per person per day is recommended to be around 70 - 100 litres per day.

The Detroit water mess is nothing to do with overpopulation. I suggest water metres should be checked for accuracy!


Also ask Native Americans such as the Lakota - and check out the many ways that predatory capitalism has been on intravenous feed on turtle island peoples since the invasion and genocide now written into law.
The system can no longer claim integrity of power and process, pissing all over itself and the planet in full spectrum efforts to hide behind its dissolving curtains.
Yet the example of Billy Mills, a Lakota born in 1938, won an Olympic gold medal and what does he turn it into? Running Strong
Why? Beyond the patently obvious, WATER systems on the res.

Does the picture clear a little more?


Shortages of / competition for water, food, land, fuel, etc., etc., etc. have EVERYTHING to do with GROSS OVERPOPULATION worldwide.  The situation in Detroit and many, many other towns (e.g. Flint), states and nations is greatly exacerbated by corruption at all levels of government, but the root cause is too many people competing for an ever-dwindling supply of (unpolluted) resources.