Alliance for Water Efficiency Releases Water Affordability and Water Conservation Assessment in Detroit, Michigan

The Alliance for Water Efficiency envisions a future with reliable and sustainable water resources, healthy ecosystems, and economically strong communities. This future is not possible in a system that does not serve all people equitably. AWE supports all those working towards a more just and inclusive society today and every day.

In keeping with the values statement above, today the Alliance for Water Efficiency released its report, An Assessment of Water Affordability and Conservation Potential in Detroit, Michigan, which evaluates water affordability and water conservation potential at the census tract level. Water affordability is an incredibly important issue, and the Alliance for Water Efficiency is dedicated to advancing the conversation by applying and evaluating measures of affordability and quantifying the benefits of water conservation. Through our efforts we aim to better understand and define the problem, and work toward solutions to help communities that are disproportionately impacted by water and sewer bills.

The assessment demonstrates:

  • There is a clear need for assistance in Detroit as the cost of water and sewer service is characterized as a high burden.
  • There is large potential for water conservation savings.
  • There is a meaningful role for water conservation to empower customers to lower water and sewer bills.
  • There is value in conducting an affordability assessment at higher resolutions than at the city or service-area level.

The affordability assessment applied the Household Burden Indicator (HBI) and Poverty Prevalence Indictor (PPI), which are relatively new indicators put forth in an April 2019 paper prepared for the American Water Works Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and the Water Environment Federation. The water conservation assessment was based on an estimate of inefficient toilets remaining in the city of Detroit.

The report is available here.

AWE hosted a webinar on July 23, 2020 to summarize the findings of the report. Click here to access a recording of this webinar.

This work was made possible by generous funding provided by Kohler Co.