Since spring, Governor Snyder’s Emergency Management decree has forced the city into bankruptcy and water has been shut off for all households who have not paid their bills in two months. So far, 27,000 households have had their water services disconnected, at an average of about 3,000 customers per week. Officials say customers owe more than $115 million in water payments collectively. The Emergency Management bill was passed in December of 2012 (even though it was voted down by public referendum) and gives government dictatorial powers.
People are being forced to choose between paying rent and paying for water. They are not being warned before their water is shut down. Local activists are appealing for international intervention, and the UN says this is against human rights.