What Life in Detroit Without Water Looks Like

These Photographs Show a City Twitching With Discomfort and Uncertainty

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Last spring, the city of Detroit’s Department of Water and Sewerage announced a massive effort to shut off water to residents and businesses that were more than 60 days delinquent on their accounts. The department was coping with staggering debt and decided that if it couldn’t gather the revenue, it wasn’t going to provide service. By the fall, the taps of tens of thousands of residents ran dry. Two investigators dispatched by the U.N. visited the city in October and declared the situation “contrary to human rights.”

Before that international condemnation, …

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