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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: more testimony on the anti-protest bill; plus we will take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

Daily Newscasts

Survey: Water Shutoffs Widespread in Detroit, Across U.S.

Protesters in Detroit have been pressing the Michigan Legislature to pass a water affordability plan that links rates to household income. (Valerie Jean)
Protesters in Detroit have been pressing the Michigan Legislature to pass a water affordability plan that links rates to household income. (Valerie Jean)
October 26, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – The water shutoffs that have plagued Detroit are widespread across the country, according to a new report from Food and Water Watch.

The group surveyed water companies and found that in 2016, some 15 million Americans had their water service shut off for nonpayment. In Detroit, 13 percent were shut off, which ranks ninth-worst among metro areas nationwide.

Jennifer Fassbender, board member with Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and a member of the People's Water Board in Detroit, says more than 100,000 Detroiters have experienced water shutoffs in the past five years – which she says inflicts great suffering.

"It often is the slippery slope that forces people to lose their homes, lose their children in many cases,” says Fassbender. “It's just an extremely inhumane way for our institutions to be deciding who gets water and who doesn't."

Oklahoma City had the highest rate of water shutoffs in 2016, at 23 percent. Other places with high rates include Tulsa, Oklahoma; Springdale, Arkansas; Jacksonville, Florida; and New Orleans.

Fassbender says the water rates have shot up 120 percent in Detroit in recent years – and it isn't because people are using more than their fair share.

"It's not for water usage whatsoever,” says Fassbender. “It's for the main breaks, it's for infrastructure, it's for sewers. It's all of these things that people don't have any control over, but this is what they're having to pay for."

Ratepayers' groups have been pushing the Michigan Legislature to pass a water affordability plan since 2015 – one that would tie water rates to household income and provide protection from shutoffs for seniors, children and people with disabilities.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MI