Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Water Bills

Water bills are a monthly occurrence, and for millions of Americans, we simply write the checks.  Unless you live in Detroit, a nearly bankrupt city that's trying to balance the books.  It seems that Detroit is cutting off people who are behind on their water bills, and it's caused quite an uproar, to the point that UN lawyers are visiting the town.
Detroit officials are fuming after two visiting United Nations lawyers scolded the city for cutting off water to delinquent customers and described the shut-offs as a “human rights” violation. 
I've got a son that works for a water district, and they routinely cut off water for delinquency.  While it's true that everyone has a right to water, it's not true that you have a right to have it filtered, cleaned, stored and pumped into your house.
 “It is contrary to human rights to disconnect water from people who simply do not have the means to pay their bills,” Catarina de Albuquerque, one of the two representatives, said Monday at the conclusion of their visit. 
Mr. Albuquerque needs to learn the law.  While everyone has a right to water, there is no right to have it delivered.  A quick look at a map shows that Detroit is served by a huge, fresh-water lake and a nice sized river.  If residents want free water, they should get a bucket and head toward the lake.  Lots of free water there.  If you want it pumped into your house, you should expect to get a bill for it, just like the rest of America.

It's a slow news day when something like this makes national news.  Pay your water bill, or start hiking toward the nearest river.


Old NFO said...

And they should PAY the bill when it comes... sigh

JoeMama said...

The noble Catarina de Albuquerque should commence to working pro bono immediately.

The sauce that is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Theother Ryan said...

I have heard a few stories about this story over the past couple months.

-First it seems people began widely ignoring their water bills when it became apparent there was not a consequence. Best I can tell this likely went on for years and like most moderately bad financial practices was missed during the good and even decent times. Only when things got really bad did it come out as an issue. Kind of like the city version of buying a $6 latte every day.

-Second there are various programs for people of genuinely low income who cannot pay their bill.

-Third when they started seriously threatening to cut off water all of a sudden accounts started getting current at a much higher rate.