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Judge Orders Detroit, County Officials into Mediation over Water Authority

Friday, April, 25, 2014


The city of Detroit, proposing a privatization of the water system that serves southeast Michigan, and two counties that have rejected the proposal in favor of forming their own regional water authority have been ordered into immediate mediation over the issue by bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes.


A mediation team composed of U.S. Judges Sean Cox and David Lawson and U.S. Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen will hear arguments and try to guide the three counties to a mutually satisfactory agreement concerning the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department.  The City of Detroit is seeking to privatize the water authority as part of their bankruptcy proceedings, seeking to raise funds through the sale of management rights.


Oakland and Macomb counties, currently served by the Detroit Water& Sewerage Department, have opposed the move and sought to establish their own control over the water supply.  They have filed complaints in court accusing Detroit of failing to disclose data that would assist them in making a case for this alternate arrangement.  As negotiations have ground to a halt, the judge ordered all three entities into mediation in hopes it would resolve the issues and lead them towards a unified approach.