Olympia, WA— After more than 20 organizations across Washiington state sent Governor Inslee a letter demanding action on water, the Governor included a water shutoff moratorium in an emergency proclamation on Friday night.
The emergency proclamation suspends water shutoffs in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and requires utilities to reconnect previously disconnected customers and waive reconnection or late fees. Inslee had previously urged utilities to suspend shutoffs voluntarily.
In response to Governor Inslee’s order, Food & Water Action Regional Organizing Manager Thomas Meyer issued the following statement:
“Today’s order was a direct result of grassroots organizing. Thanks to thousands of Washington residents and dozens of organizations, Governor Inslee is taking a critical step to protect the human right to water. Requiring water utilities to stop shutoffs and restore service for all customers is an absolute necessity during a pandemic and will protect families across the state. Governor Inslee’s order will protect families across the state and will ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need.
“Ultimately, we need to treat water service as a basic human right for everyone at all times, not just in the midst of a public health crisis. For now, we’re glad to see a commitment to protecting residents in a time of crisis, and we hope to see future action to guarantee every Washingtonian the right to water.”