Town Planning Review

Water equity, COVID-19 and the role of US cities and states

Town Planning Review (2021), 92, (2), 221–227.


Access Token
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


BERTELSMANN STIFTUNG and SDSN (SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS NETWORK) (2018), Global Responsibilities, Implementing the Goals: G20 and Large Countries Edition, (accessed 30 March 2020). Google Scholar

BUFORD, T. and CAMPBELL, S. (2020), ‘Some towns still haven’t halted utility shut-offs for unpaid water bills during coronavirus, even as federal lawmakers demand it’, ProPublica, 13 March 2020, (accessed 30 March 2020). Google Scholar

DIGDEEP and US WATER ALLIANCE (2019), ‘Closing the water gap in the United States: a national action plan’, (accessed 14 May 2020). Google Scholar

EUREAU (2016), ‘Access to water and measures in case of non-payment’ (briefing note, August 2016), (accessed 30 April 2020). Google Scholar

FOOD AND WATER WATCH (2020), ‘External-local-state water shutoff moratoria amidst coronavirus’, database, gid=1796772260 (accessed 30 April 2020). Google Scholar

THE GUARDIAN (2020), ‘Detroit suspends water shutoffs over Covid-19 fears’, The Guardian, 12 March 2020, (accessed 20 March 2020). Google Scholar

HOMSY, G. C. and WARNER, M. E. (2020), ‘Does public ownership of utilities matter for local government water policies?’, Utilities Policy, forthcoming, Google Scholar

JACOBSON J. (2016), ‘Keeping the water on: strategies for addressing high increases in water and sewer rates for Baltimore’s most vulnerable customers’, Abell Report, 29, 1-28. Google Scholar

LIAO, L., WARNER, M. E. and HOMSY, G. C. (2019), ‘Sustainability’s forgotten third E: what influences local government actions on social equity?’, Local Environment, 24, 1197-208. Google Scholar

MONTAG, C. (2019), Water/Color: A Study of Race and the Affordability Crisis in America’s Cities, New York, Thurgood Marshall Institute at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Google Scholar

N.A. (2020), ‘Letter for 830 public organisations calling for nationwide moratorium on utility shut-offs in next coronavirus package’, 13 April 2020, (accessed 14 May 2020). Google Scholar

PIERCE, G., CHOW, N. and DESHAZO, J. R. (2020), ‘The case for state-level drinking water affordability programs: conceptual and empirical evidence from California’, Utilities Policy, 63, Google Scholar

SWAIN, M., MCKINNEY, E. and SUSSKIND, L. (2020), ‘Water shutoffs in older American cities: causes, extent, and remedies’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, forthcoming, Google Scholar

UNC ENVIRONMENTAL FINANCE CENTER (2017), Navigating Legal Pathways to Rate-Funded Customer Assistance Programs: A Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities, Chapel Hill, NC, UNC Environmental Finance Center. Google Scholar

WARNER, M. E., ZHANG, X. and GONZALEZ RIVAS, M. (2020), ‘Which states and cities protect residents from water shutoffs in the COVID-19 pandemic?’ (working paper), Ithaca, NY, Cornell University. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details

Warner, Mildred E.

Rivas, Marcela González

Zhang, Xue