Thousands of households are learning the hard way that water is at the top of the list for survival as their water and sewer service has been shut off due to non-payment of their water utility bills.
Is this just the beginning of more hardship and desperate moves to come in our future of an infrastructure dependent upon a collapsing (at least decaying) financial-economic system which has already bled dry the poor and much of the middle class?
For some residents (of Detroit), it has been six weeks since the water has been shut off and they’ve resorted to recycling systems of washing the dishes, cleaning the floor and flushing the toilet with the same water – collected from trash cans filled with rainwater and water from their neighbors.
One resident said, “When I get somewhere there’s a water faucet, I drink until my stomach hurts,” reported from LATimes.com (6/28/14).
Thousands of Detroit residents are behind on their bills and have had their water and sewer services turned off as part of a crackdown. In April, the city set a target of cutting service to 3,000 customers a week who were more than $150 behind on their bills. In May, the water department sent out 46,000 warnings and cut off service to 4,531 residents.
While the issue of utility affordability is acute in Detroit (with its high proportion of low-income residents), municipal analysts say the problem is becoming more prevalent everywhere -LATimes.com
In Iowa, for instance, there were nearly 10,000 electricity and gas disconnections in April, a state record.
Although the majority of the affected residents are likely poor, many of whom are probably on some sort of government assistance, the fact is that as cities become more strapped for cash, they will turn to desperate measures to ‘stay alive’.
If you think that this can only happen in a city like Detroit, think again. It can and will reach further – particularly as financial struggles increasingly ripple through the fabric of the lower classes into the middle class (right where you may be right now…).
Desperate people (and city governments) do desperate things, and at some point, it could become dangerous to your health and well being.
Plan for it (troubles ahead) and you will be better off when ‘it’ happens.