Join us in saying water equals life!

Everyone needs access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water for good individual health and public health. Residential water rates have been steadily climbing for more than a decade, leaving some families with unaffordable bills. Unfortunately, when families cannot pay their water bills, water systems usually shut the family's water off. Shutting off water to residents in communities is a public health issue that can spread diseases and viruses such as COVID-19.

In order to develop policies that address the crisis of residential water service becoming unaffordable for more than one-third of homes in the country, individuals and groups in communities with high water rates came together to create a set of consensus principles.

The Water Equals Life (WEL) Coalition is working to pass legislation in MICHIGAN that would create a water affordability program upholding the principles laid out below. Will you join us to ensure all residents of Michigan have access to clean, safe, and affordable water? Sign the pledge today to make your voice heard and ensure that all Michiganders have access to safe, affordable water.

By endorsing this pledge, you will join us in committing to the points and principles within the Water Affordability Platform as we continue to fight for clean, safe, and affordable water. Join us in saying water equals life!
1. Water is a public good and should never be privatized: water affordability must acknowledge that water is a public trust, the provision of water is a public good and water is not a commodity subject to privatization.

2. Water affordability is one piece of the puzzle: water affordability must be situated within a broader commitment to ensuring access to clean, safe, affordable water for all.

3. Water bills should be on a sliding scale: Water affordability must be modeled along the lines of a sliding-scale, income-based rate system.

4.Water is a public health issue: water affordability must be centered within a framework of preserving and maintaining public health.

5. Water affordability builds climate resilience: water affordability must maintain a commitment to principles of conservation and provide assistance to low income residents to ensure they can be proper stewards of their water resources.

6. Water is a human right: water affordability must enshrine quality customer service as a central value along with a commitment to acknowledge the human dignity of all the people it serves. Water affordability must find appropriate ways to deal with past consumer debt, such as the policies being implemented in Philadelphia.

7. Water shutoffs are not a solution: water affordability must eschew water shutoffs as a policy for being inconsistent with the values of public health and the commitment to acknowledge the human dignity of all the people it serves.

8. Water assistance and affordability are not the same. Water assistance plans are not the same as water affordability plans and must not be advertised as such. Tiered water pricing plans, where water is priced by volume, are not the same as water affordability plans and must not be advertised as such.

9. Promote equitable community justice through the water affordability platform: water affordability must ensure that jobs, training, contracts and other economic opportunities go to residents of the most impacted communities to align with the Justice40 framework. Recipients of government assistance for housing and businesses that provide economic opportunities to low and very low-income residents must be prioritized.
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