The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is being taken seriously as a major threat to public health. But many of America’s built-in injustices, like water shutoffs for those unable to pay, are an obstacle to preventing infection.
From our Public Water For All Campaign Director, Mary Grant:
The United States has been facing a water affordability crisis for years. Now, threats of the coronavirus are finally making it clear to our elected officials: water shutoffs are not only inhumane but also a public health nightmare.
In 2016, an estimated 15 million Americans lost water service for failing to pay their bills. Without water, tasks as simple as hand washing become impossible. Handwashing is the first line of defense against COVID-19. Action to halt water shutoffs is long overdue. It should not have taken the coronavirus epidemic.
These Places Are Turning The Water Back On In The Face Of COVID-19
Here are the governments who are putting a moratorium on water shutoffs and restoring water to every household that was disconnected for nonpayment.
See our public spreadsheet with live updates of all the cities and states making the right decision — finally!
We Must Have National Reform Through The WATER Act
Coronavirus may just be the first warning. As climate changes drastically, scientists anticipate a growing number of viruses and bacteria emerging that the public hasn’t dealt with in recent years. Water is a crucial factor in preserving public health.
We call on the federal government to order an immediate national moratorium on water shutoffs with service restoration for every household disconnected for nonpayment. Congress should fully fund our water systems to help guarantee access to safe and affordable water and sanitation for all Americans at all times by passing the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act.
We also call on every Presidential candidate to support a national water shutoff moratorium and the WATER Act. This crisis demands federal action to ensure every household in this country has access to safe water and can wash their hands. Universal access to clean and affordable water is a public health necessity and should be a national priority.
Sign here to call for all residents to have their water turned on!