Hundreds marched in the streets of downtown Detroit on July 18 to protest water services being shut off for thousands of residents too poor to pay their utility bills. Nurses organizing the demonstration declared a public health emergency and called for a moratorium on the water shutoffs, a violation of human rights. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced a brief reprieve.
In March 2014, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department announced it would begin shutting off water service for 1,500 to 3,000 customers every week if their water bills were not paid. Thousands of families are now without water. A coalition of grassroots groups submitted a report to the United Nations naming these shut-offs as a violation of human rights.