WWJ, a news radio station in Detroit, reports the United Nations may pay delinquent water bills in the former Motor City.
According to water department spokeswoman Curtrise Garner, nearly half of the residents of the bankrupt city cannot or do not pay their water bills. This has led activists to declare access to water a human right that should be guaranteed by the United Nations.
Garner said that although she believes access to water is “a God-given right,” the fact remains that somebody has to pay move water from the source to the customer and the infrastructure for that costs money.
The Detroit Free Press reports the average monthly water bill in the city is $75, well above the national average of around $40.
The Detroit Water and Sewage Department, however, claims it charges about $2 for 1,000 gallons. “At this price, you can get 5 gallons of tap water for about penny,” the department’s web page states.
Detroit gets its water from the Great Lakes, the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, containing 21% of the world’s surface fresh water.
WWJ listeners posted comments about the water situation on Facebook.
“This is just insane,” writes Kathy Ward. “If someone is that destitute that they truly cannot afford their water bill, there are already welfare programs in place for that. I’m guessing those same people not paying their water also have a TV, cable, I-phone, etc. People need to get their priorities straight, not expect another government handout.”
Others are calling for Obama and the federal government to help. “Call President Obama he has plenty of taxpayers cash to spend,” adds Calvin Carter. “Wasn’t that a campaign promise he made along with free rent and gas and payin’ my car note…Socialism only works if there is someone to pay for it.”
As noted in this report, a large part of the problem is Detroit’s bankruptcy and paying for the city’s bureaucracy, including pensions: