Public Values

The Water Front: What happens when water is for profit?

New documentary shows the stark reality of trying to make a buck off a basic necessity.

Image from the documentary - TheWaterfrontMovie.comby Zoe Maggio, Polaris Institute, on AlterNet

"What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?" The Water Front, a documentary film by Liz Miller, is the story of one community's determined resistance to water privatization.

Highland Park, Michigan, was once the center of the early 20th century's booming automobile industry — the location of the first assembly line implemented by the Ford Motor Company, enabling mass production. Now, the post-industrial city is in financial crisis and the state of Michigan has appointed an Emergency Financial Manager, with the same power as an elected mayor, to sort it out. Seeing the municipal water plant as a potential source of revenue, the manager raises the water rates to impossible levels, with some residents receiving water bills as high as $10,000. If they are unable to pay, the water is shut off. Highland Park's residents, who are mostly poor or low-income and people of color, have organized a campaign to prevent the water plant from impending privatization, and to assert water, an essential life resource, as a human right. . .

Links and sources
  The Water Front: What Happens When Water Is for Profit? [Video], posted on AlterNet by Zoe Maggio, Polaris Institute, March 25, 2008
  The Water Front Movie

Posted: May 08, 2008

Categories:
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  Voices of privatization

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