We match people in Detroit to 8,000+ donors
for direct water bill help.

Spread the word with Twitter hashtag #DetroitWater.

Over 300,000 Detroit residents face water shutoffs due to past due water bills exacerbated by Detroit's ongoing economic woes.

Do you know someone who needs help? Send them here for one-time assistance of up to $1500.

As our donor list has grown to over 8,000 people (and we take time to verify each resident's need), it may take 3-5 days to receive your match. We appreciate your patience and generosity!

How this works (for donors)

We match you to a Detroit resident you can help directly by submitting a payment for all or a portion of a water bill to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department on their behalf.

You will receive the following information to help a Detroit resident when you've been matched:

    Your email address is kept confidential.

    You don't have to pay an entire bill.

    Completely optional.

Do you need help with your Detroit water bill?

Let us know that you need help here for one-time assistance of up to $1500. No paperwork needed.

How is privacy protected?

We only share information donors need to get matched to people to help with bills. Here's what we share only with the donor:

We do not share names, but the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department may reveal them.

Selected press

National Geographic

In Detroit, Water Crisis Symbolizes Decline, and Hope - 8.22.2014

NPR: Here and Now

Detroit Water Project Brings Outside Support to Residents in Need - 07.31.2014


Direct Philanthropy' in Detroit: Funding Project Keeps the Water Flowing - 07.29.2014

MSNBC - Melissa Harris-Perry Show

Residents Lacking Water Get a Helping Hand - 07.26.2014

CNN Money

#DetroitWater campaign wants you to pay residents' past-due bills - 07.25.2014

USA Today

Twitter Campaign Tries to Keep Detroit Water Flowing - 07.25.2014

BET News

Here's How You Can Help Detroit Residents Turn On Their Water - 07.24.2014


Website Lets Donors Pay Detroit Residents' Overdue Water Bills - 07.24.2014

Washington Post

You Can Now Pay Someone's Delinquent Detroit Water Bill Online - 07.23.2014

Al Jazeera - The Stream

Detroit Residents Use Tech to Battle Water Shortages - 07.22.2014

CBS Detroit

Website Allows Donors To Pay Delinquent Bills, Save Detroiters From Water Shutoffs - 07.22.2014

WXYZ Detroit

New website to match anonymous donors with Detroiters who can't pay water bill - 07.22.2014

The Atlantic - CityLab

A New Site Allows You to Pay a Detroit Resident's Water Bill - 07.21.2014


Right Now, Someone in Detroit Can't Pay the Water Bill--That's Where You Come In - 07.21.2014

Deadline Detroit

Person to Person: Here's How to Help Detroiters With Unpaid Water Bills - 07.21.2014

The Team

Harry Truman once said, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." It's true. Besides Tiffani and Kristy, here are other people who deserve credit for volunteering their time and talent(s) with everything from donor-resident account matching to code to handling press inquiries:

And of course, every single donor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Detroit Water Project accept donations itself?
No, the Detroit Water Project does not take donations or handle any funds itself. We're different from other funding sources and organizations in that we match donors to people in need, then direct donors to pay Detroit directly. This ensures that donors know exactly where their money is going. Transparency is paramount.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Unfortunately, since the Detroit Water Project is not (yet) a 501(c)(3) organization and does not collect funds itself, your donation would not be tax deductible.

Is there a minimum donation amount?

Can I give more than once?

I haven't been matched as a donor yet. What's going on?
As our donor list has grown to over 8,000 people (and we take time to verify each resident's need), it may take 3-5 days to receive your match. We appreciate your patience and generosity!

Can I contribute even though I live outside the United States?
Yes! As long as you have a VISA or MasterCard, you can contribute to someone's bill.

Do you accept Bitcoin?

Do you accept PayPal?
No. Since payments are made directly through the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department website, and it doesn't accept PayPal as a payment option, we're not able to accept PayPal.

More frequently asked questions
Get answers to even more questions that have been asked about the Detroit Water Project.

Get in touch. We're listening.

Interested in doing a story on this project? Get in touch here.

Have questions, comments, concerns, or want to find out how this project is doing? Get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.

Email us

Want to contribute to how this page is put together? This is on Github, here.
Disclaimer: The Detroit Water Project is merely facilitating matching Detroit residents with willing donors. We hold no liability to either party in the event of error or misuse.