New Jersey needs to take a hard look at how its poorest households will maintain access to water, as water and sewer rates increase. Last year, Detroit sent notices to thousands of customers, threatening to turn off their water service (and ultimately doing so) if past-due bills weren’t paid. For its efforts to ensure sufficient water-utility revenue, Detroit — which has a very high poverty rate and has gone through bankruptcy — earned the opprobrium of interests around the world. Daniel J. Van Abs is currently associate research professor for Water, Society and Environment at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
/ / / Opinion: Is water supply a commodity, a service, or a right?