Ten-Point Water Affordability Plan

  1. Any water affordability plan must acknowledge that water is a public trust, the provision of water is a public good and water is not a commodity subject to privatization.

  2. Any water affordability plan must be situated within a broader commitment to ensuring access to clean, safe, affordable water for all.

  3. Any water affordability plan must be modeled along the lines of a sliding-scale, income-based rate system.

  4. Any water affordability plan must be centered within a framework of preserving and maintaining public health.

  5. Any water affordability plan must maintain a commitment to principles of conservation and providing assistance to low income residents to empower residents to manage their water at home.

  6. Any water affordability plan must enshrine quality customer service and proactive residential engagement as a central value along with a commitment to acknowledge the human dignity of all the people it serves.

  7. Any water affordability plan must find appropriate ways to deal with past consumer debt, such as the policies being implemented in Philadelphia.

  8. Any water affordability plan must avoid water shutoffs as a policy for being inconsistent with the values of public health and the commitment to acknowledge the human dignity of all the people it serves.

  9. Water assistance plans are not the same as water affordability plans and must be rejected as such.

  10. Tiered water pricing plans, where water is priced by volume, are not the same as water affordability plans and must be rejected as such.


This plan is based off of Michigan’s Water Unity Table’s Ten-Point Water Affordability Plan, which was developed by members of communities currently struggling with water that is not affordable to all in their communities and funded by Freshwater Future. The Water Transformation Partnership has gained approval to use this plan. It is requested that any use of this plan should gain approval from the Michigan Water Unity Table as well.