Detroit's Leaky Water Supply Goes to Waste Amid Disrepair

Detroit's leaky, run-down water supply system is the latest component of the troubled city under the microscope, now that its bankruptcy is underway. Tens of thousands of Motor City's buildings are vacant amid its long population decline, leaving them vulnerable to metal scavengers who rip out pipes — and leave water flowing freely, sometimes for years on end. There's no way to track the leaks, and the water department is too short-staffed to check every building. "The water was running all last winter," one resident said, pointing to a vandalized building across from her home. "You can actually hear it running." The draining away of unknown volumes of Detroit's water, though, underscores the city's ongoing struggle to stanch the flow of its resources — even as it struggles to provide basic services to Detroiters.

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