Friday, July 11, 2014

I've got your fresh water right here

Another protest this afternoon. We were again outside the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. We marched for a while, then had a meeting (right there on the sidewalk) to make sure everyone knew about upcoming events, including an important rally next week with national connections (early afternoon so I should make it to Mom's birthday party). New slogan for future marches: “It's not your fault, but it is your fight.”

Some things I learned: There are now complaints of water shutoff happening to people who are not behind in their payments. I don't know if it is intentional or incompetence. Either is possible. A friend who lives in Detroit told me about a water main break that had been flooding an intersection for 3 days. That's either incompetence or having been swindled by a bank out of the money needed for repairs.

One of today's speakers connected a few dots. The water shutoffs are part of an effort to make the DWSD more enticing to outside investors, so that the whole thing can be privatized. The main reason is so that a profit can be made from what is as a community asset. This afternoon another reason was mentioned. Water is becoming a scarce resource. The Great Lakes have 20% of the world's fresh water. Somebody will make a fortune if they are able to privatize the entire Great Lakes. Privatizing Detroit water is the first step in that direction. That sounds farfetched, but I now believe it is in the realm of possibility and that someone is thinking about it. A big complaint about the shutoffs is that residents are getting cut off when behind by only $150 yet big clients (such as golf courses) are behind in payments by $55K to $200K. Why? Perhaps because a private company wouldn't want small, delinquent customers where they would be delighted with big corporate customers, delinquent or not. Which makes me wonder if some of those huge delinquent companies are withholding their money to force the DWSD towards privatization.

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