In Michigan, we are surrounded by over 20% of the world’s fresh water. Despite this, for too many Michigan families, residential water rates have become unaffordable. Over the last 40 years, residential water service rates in Michigan have nearly doubled when adjusted for inflation. In some of our communities, rates have nearly quadrupled in the same timeframe.
The United Nations recognizes a human right to water, but water utilities in Michigan regularly shut off access for residents who can’t afford to pay unaffordable bills. It doesn’t have to be this way - many communities in the United States and across the world have ended the practice of shutting off water access to families who can’t afford sky-high water bills.
Current estimates show that nearly 1 in 10 Michigan families struggle with water affordability, and we need a statewide solution. Clean Water Action, along with the grassroots activists who have been leading the fight for water affordability, are calling on all Michigan State Senators and State House Representatives to pass legislation this year that will protect Michigan families from having their water shut off due to an inability to pay unaffordable bills.
Our Michigan Legislature is very close to passing water affordability legislation which will ensure that all Michigan families have access to affordable water. However, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners is considering a resolution opposing the water affordability program.