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Organizing for Clean and Affordable Water
 

Organizing for Clean and Affordable Water

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The People’s Water Board is a coalition of labor, social justice, and environmental organizations based in Detroit. They work together to confront: 1) devastating lack of access to water faced by ...

The People’s Water Board is a coalition of labor, social justice, and environmental organizations based in Detroit. They work together to confront: 1) devastating lack of access to water faced by tens of thousands of low-income people who have had their water shut off; 2) water pollution due to aging wastewater infrastructure; and 3) the effort of corporate interests to gain control of Detroit’s water system. Listen to this panel discussion to learn about their struggles and victories.

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  • The Great Lakes hold one fifth of the world’s fresh water supply and currently provide drinking water to over 42 million people. Yet each day, our Lakes are damaged economically and ecologically by untreated sewage, industrial pollutants and invasive species. Unless we invest in a solution today, the price we will pay tomorrow will be much higher and future generations may never experience the Lakes as we know them.

Organizing for Clean and Affordable Water Organizing for Clean and Affordable Water Presentation Transcript

  •  
  • PWB Coalition Partners
    • AFSCME Local 207
    • (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees)
    • Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
    • Detroit Green Party
    • EMEAC
    • (East Michigan Environmental Action Council)
    • Food & Water Watch
    • MECAWI
    • (Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice)
    • Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
    • Rosa Parks Institute
    • Sierra Club
  • PWB Mission
    • Water is life.
    • The People’s Water Board advocates for access, protection, and conservation of water. 
    • We believe water is a human right and all people should have access to clean and affordable water.
    • Water is a commons that should be held in the public trust free of privatization. 
    • The People’s Water Board promotes awareness of the interconnectedness of all people and resources.
  • ACCESS TO WATER FOR ALL PEOPLE
    • Our Concerns
      • Water rates have more than doubled in the past ten years while the unemployment rate has increased
      • 12,000 shutoffs as of March 10
      • Only 980 people enrolled in Detroit Residential Water Assistance Program (DRWAP)
  • ACCESS TO WATER FOR ALL PEOPLE
    • Short-Term Goals:
      • Create media/public education campaign on access to water for all people
    • Long-Term Goals:
      • Stop water shut-offs in homes of poor and low-income residents
      • Implement original water affordability plan
      • Obtain enactment of Water Amnesty program that would forgive overdue water bills of poor and low-income households
      • Obtain passage of federal law promoting water affordability and access for all people
  • PROTECTION OF WATER QUALITY & CONSERVATION OF WATER
    • Background
      • World’s largest wastewater treatment plant at peak flow
        • Services 77 communities and over 3 million people
        • 3,433 miles of sewer lines
        • Treats an average of 619 million gallons per day
    • Concerns
      • Aging Infrastructure
        • System averages three water main breaks per day
        • Incinerators are out of date
        • Over 30 billions gallons of raw and partially treated sewage
      • Cost of capital improvements is shared between Detroit and 76 other communities
        • 83 percent by Detroit
        • 17 percent by surrounding communities
  • PROTECTION OF WATER QUALITY & CONSERVATION OF WATER
  • PROTECTION OF WATER QUALITY & CONSERVATION OF WATER
    • Short-Term Goals:
      • Create media/public education campaign on water protection and conservation
        • Home Water Audit Program
        • Rain Barrel and Rain Garden Workshops
      • Conduct audits of
        • Broken water mains
        • Commercial misuse of water
        • Water shut-offs in homes
      • Increase fines and advocate for criminal charges for water pollution
    • Long-Term Goals:
      • Create a “State of the Water” report
      • Stop pollution including sewage overflows, illicit connections, and illegal dumping
      • Eliminate water bottling and use of bottled water in Detroit
  • WATER IS A PUBLIC COMMONS
    • Concerns
      • Privatization of system
      • Losing knowledge and expertise through private contracts
  • WATER IS A PUBLIC COMMONS
    • Short-Term Goals:
      • Demand transparency of current municipal water board, including full public access to all meeting agendas and minutes (posted on the web), and television broadcast of all board meetings
      • Demand transparency of all advisory organizations concerning water issues
    • Long-Term Goals:
      • Obtain enactment of city, state, and federal laws ensuring that water will be held in the public commons, and that the water and sewerage system be publicly owned and operated
  • Coming Together to Protect the Community
    • Stenciling
    • Storm Drains
  • Coming Together to Protect the Community World Water Day
  • Coming Together to Protect the Community
  • Coming Together to Protect the Community
    • What do we want?
    • Clean Water
    • When do we want it?
    • NOW!!!
    • What do we want?
    • Affordable Water
    • When do we want it?
    • NOW!!!
  • The People’s Water Board Coalition urges the Detroit Water Board of Commissioners to:
    • Place a moratorium on water shut-offs
    • Fully implement original Water Affordability Plan
    • Televise all Water Board Meetings
    • Publish meeting agendas and minutes on website (minutes need to include: number of shutoffs, pending shutoffs, volume of combined sewage overflow, water main breaks, contracts, illicit connections or illegal dumping occurrences that were found and penalized)
    • Stop conservation penalization through rate hikes
    • Stop outsourcing city jobs
    • Involve the public in creating demonstration projects that engage and educate the community on how to protect and save water (i.e. rain barrels, rain gardens, green roofs, community workshops, etc.)
    • Provide a public update on the Federal Consent Judgment
    • *The People’s Water Board hopes to work with the Detroit Water Board of Commissioners to make our water affordable, fishable, swimmable, and kept safe in the public commons.
  • Home Water Audits
    • Erb Family Foundation grant supports the cost of training materials
    • Purpose
      • Educate participants on how to save water and money
      • Encourage participants to take the pledge to protect the Great Lakes by using non-toxic cleaners, planting a tree, installing a rain barrel, planting a rain garden, or replacing an old appliance with a water-efficient ones
  • Home Water Audits
    • Aging Infrastructure = Combined Sewage Overflows
    • Compliance of Clean Water Act = New Infrastructure
    • New Infrastructure = Water Rate Increases
    • Water Rates Increases = Water Shutoffs
    • Home Water Audits help residents save water and money on bills while reducing the volume of wastewater going to wastewater treatment plant
  • Home Water Audits
    • Each trainer receives:
      • “ How to Host a Home Water Audit” Guide
      • Basket
        • Aerator, low-flow showerhead
        • Drip meter and shower flow meter
        • Food Dye
      • 20 water audit guides, toilet tummies, and pledge cards
  • Basement
    • Test for Water Leaks
    • Turn off everything that uses water and immediately write down your water meter number.
    • Check your water meter again in two hours. If you notice a change in your water meter, you probably have a leak!
    Locate Your Main Water Valve Mark it for quick identification!!!
  • Bathroom
    • Toilet: Test for Leaks
    • Remove the lid off of the toilet tank.
    • Add a few drops of food coloring and wait 10 to 15 minutes.
    • If color appears without flushing, you have a leak!
    • Update your hardware & appliances
    • Purchase aerators for your faucets. They add air to the water stream so you use less water.
    • Consider installing new faucets, showerheads, toilets, and replacing your old washing machine or dishwasher. (Look for the EPA label.)
    • Use Less Water
    • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
    • Turn off the water while shaving.
    • Do not use the toilet as a garbage can.
    • Shorten your shower by a minute or two.
  • Kitchen
    • Use Less Water
    • Capture running water while waiting for the temperature to change.
      • Use if for plants or to flush your toilet.
    • When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
    • Use the garbage disposal sparingly.
    • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator.
    • Update your hardware & appliances
    • Purchase aerators for your faucets. They add air to the water stream so you use less water.
    • Consider installing new faucets, showerheads, toilets, and replacing your old washing machine or dishwasher. (Look for the EPA label.)
  • Outside
    • Use Less Water
    • Use a broom rather than a hose to clean off your driveways, steps, and sidewalks.
    • Landscape with native plants.
    • Disconnect your downspouts and connect rain barrels
    • Use the collected rain water for your plants.
    • Install a rain garden.
  • JOIN US!!!
    • People’s Water Board Coalition
    • www.peopleswaterboard.blogspot.com
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • “ People’s Water Board”
  •