Welcome to our trans-media oral history project, exploring how water security affects the everyday lives of Detroit residents, with broader implications for residents of other large US cities. We are a group of professors and graduate students in Wayne State University’s Department of Communication who have been learning about the city’s ongoing water crises and interviewing Detroiters about their experiences. Especially relevant for us are the historic and unprecedented water shutoffs since 2014 to several thousand residents, who have been unable to paying their water bills. Our goal is not to highlight only the suffering endured by highly vulnerable residents, but also the stories of resilience, community engagement and incredible strength evident throughout this crisis.
This site serves as an accessible platform for our findings, to inform residents, community leaders, advocacy groups and policymakers about the ongoing water issues in our community. Here, you will find oral histories, blog posts and scholarly essays by the research team, and video webisodes that highlight the lives of impacted Detroiters. Finally, we have collected a list of resources, mainly non-profit, advocacy groups in Detroit that you can contact if you are experiencing problems accessing clean water.