Stories of Water Security in Detroit

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.


  1. our water was shutoff because i am involved in a lawsuit with a former employer who has repeatedly lied to prospective employers about me for years. now that i know the extent of the lies i am preparing a case but this has caused unemployment and underemployment. shutoffs are now a regular thing along w/other inconveniences since i haven’t yet found work. it’s bern difficult but by the grace of God we’ll prevail!


    1. Hello, and thank you for your comment. Would you be interested in sharing your story with us for this project? If so, we could chat briefly so that I could learn a bit more about your case, and then perhaps set up a time for a longer interview. If you are interested, please contact me at Let me know if you’d prefer my cell phone number. – Rahul


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