Dripping Down the Drain


According to a 2017 study, 10% of American households are unable to afford their water bills. This creates a massive problem for families across the country where failure to pay leads to hefty late fees and water service disconnection. My research studies the impact of unaffordable water on central Illinois communities. This image was intended to represent the experience of “drowning” in bills simply for the ability to turn on the tap. What begins as spare change slowly accumulates into an overwhelming amount of water debt. This photograph also draws into question the ethics of water bills and whether low-income households have the right to safe and affordable water. The piles of coins dripping down the drain echo a suffocating reality for many families in Illinois State University’s back yard.