As the price of water continues to rise, scores of communities across the country are increasingly plagued by service terminations and lien sales, leading to home foreclosures and evictions. These practices disproportionately impact people of color, but unfortunately, this form of discrimination is nothing new.


As long as American cities have been segregated by race, local officials have found ways to deprive Black people of access to affordable water.

Municipal discrimination in the provision of water services runs deep.

In recent years, there have been significant strides in recognizing the human right to water and increased attention paid to the ever-growing problem of water affordability.


However, few studies have made an explicit link between race and the price of water, nor have they explored the connection between the failure to pay a water bill and the loss of Black homeownership.


With this research, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and its Thurgood Marshall Institute hope to equip water equality advocates with background about our waterworks systems and ways to challenge efforts that impede Black access to water and sewer systems.


We also wish to raise awareness of the role water has played in shaping our communities, reinforcing municipal power, and perpetuating racial inequities.

Water is our most critical resource, but many are struggling to afford a basic life necessity. 


Read our full overview to learn how this crisis is affecting Black communities and how to ease the burden of water affordability. –