DWSD has a rich history as a public utility dating back to 1836.Known for decades as the Department of Water Supply (DWS), the department officially became the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in 1973 under Detroit's City Charter. Both DWSD and GLWA are headquartered in the Water Board Building located at 735 Randolph Street in Detroit.
DWSD is a branch of city government. In 1852, the City of Detroit's Common Council formed a Board of Trustees to operate the water system and provide it with hands-on management. In 1853, the state legislature transformed the Board of Trustees into the Board of Water Commissioners (BOWC) which continues as DWSD's governing body today. All seven current commissioners are Detroit residents, appointed by the Mayor.
DWSD is organized into five operating groups: Customer Care, Field Services, Finance and Procurement, Administration, and Meter Operations. By Michigan statute, water and sewer rates are based on the cost of service only. The department receives no subsidies from property taxes.
The BOWC holds an annual public hearing on DWSD’s fiscal year budget which includes proposed water and sewer rates for the following fiscal year. DWSD’s day-to-day operations are managed by Director Gary Brown who has more than30-years of dedicated service to the citizens of Detroit. Deputy Director, Palencia Mobley, P.E., is Chief Engineer overseeing field operations and infrastructure. Both Brown and Mobley were appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan in late 2015 and confirmed by the Board of Water Commissioners in January 2016.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department recognizes that good municipal citizenship involves more than operational efficiencies. The department is committed to identifying opportunities consistent with its mission to provide safe drinking water, reliable customer service and environmental integrity. In 2015, DWSD sponsored or participated in a wide-range of outreach activities. In addition to numerous community group and block club meetings, DWSD participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies, Detroit River Water Festival, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, among others.
Since 1985, DWSD participates in celebrating National Drinking Water Week and gives recognition to student winners for research in water-related projects through the annual Science and Engineering Fair of Metropolitan Detroit.
Einheuser was appointed to the Board by Mayor Mike Duggan for a term that began in April, 2015. A Detroit resident, Einheuser joined the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners with over 40 years of experience working for the City of Detroit including as an attorney specializing in financial planning, estate planning and real estate since. Einheuser began his professional career at New Detroit, Inc., serving as its Director of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs before becoming an executive Assistant to Mayor Coleman A. Young . Einheuser was responsible for coordinating the City’s planning and site preparation for the first Grand Prix and negotiating lease revisions between the City and the Detroit Red Wings NHL hockey organization. A former member of the Wayne State University Board of Governors, Einheuser is currently a practicing attorney with Einheuser Leag, P.C.
Mary E. Blackmon
Mary E. Blackmon was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by former Mayor Dennis Archer in October, 1996 and re-appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan. She is a retiree of Ameritech and served for 10 years as a member of the Detroit Board of Education. In addition to serving as vice chairperson of the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners, Blackmon is the President of the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency Board of Education and Central Region Director on the National Black Caucus of School Board Members. She serves on the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition Executive Board and the Executive Board of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. A Detroit resident and a graduate of Leadership Detroit, Blackmon remains active in a number of civic and community organizations.
Lane Coleman was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by Mayor Mike Duggan in January 2016. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Strike Group L.L.C. Strike Group, a sustainment logistics and material supply sourcing venture with expertise in distribution, logistics and warehousing services. With offices in Michigan, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, California, Afghanistan and Okinawa Japan, the company’s clientele has included Delta Airlines, Coors, Federal Reserve Bank and Ford Motor Company. Coleman has held positions with Amoco Oil Company and Mays Chemical where he managed a $35 Million sales territory. A native Chicagoan, Coleman who holds a degree in Design Engineering is retired from the Navy where he served as a United States Naval Officer. In addition to the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners, Coleman, a Detroit resident has served on several boards including Forgotten Harvest, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit, and Great Lakes Growth Corp.
John Henry Davis
John Henry Davis was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners in January 2015 by Mayor Mike Duggan. Davis is a proud lifelong resident of Detroit with more than 30 years experience as a labor, political and community activist. A lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Davis owns a political consulting firm and serves on a number of community and organization boards. Retired with more than 36 years of combined service as an International Representative with the United Auto Workers International Union and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Davis' education includes Lawrence Technological University,Walter and May Reuther UAW Leadership Institute and the American Arbitration Association.
Linda D. Forte
Linda D. Forte was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by Mayor Dave Bing in April, 2011. Forte is a Senior Vice President at Comerica Inc. responsible for diversity and corporate responsibility practices and for Comerica's Charitable Foundation, Contributions and Civic Affairs. With more than 30 years of business, finance, and commercial banking expertise Forte, Detroit resident, has held management positions in Comerica’s Business Banking, Municipalities, U.S. Banking and Loan Administration Groups, Human Resources and in Banking Center Administration. A graduate of Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan where she earned a Master of Business, Forte has received numerous awards including recognition by Crain 's Detroit Business as one of Detroit's 100 Black Business Leaders, and as one of the Top Influential Women is Corporate America by Savoy Magazine. Forte serves on several boards including The Henry For Health System, New Detroit, Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone, and as board Chair of Economic Development Corporation..
Jane C. Garcia
Jane C. Garcia was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by Mayor Mike Duggan in January 2016. A native Detroiter and licensed social worker, Garcia, who has been a community activist for more 45 years, is the founder of Corporate Responsibility through Advocacy, an organization that advocates for Latinos and minority representation in corporate America. Garcia has held positions with Detroit Public Schools and the U.S. Federal Government where she retired after more than 25 years in government service. Garcia has served on many boards including Davenport University, SER Metro-Detroit, The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Harper Hospital, and the Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development where she has continued as a member and Chair of the Board of Directors for more than 45-years. A Detroit resident, Garcia has received numerous awards and recognitions from local, state, national and international entities including the 2008 Michiganian of the year honor.
Jonathan C. Kinloch
Jonathan C. Kinloch was appointed to the Board of Water Commissioners by Mayor Mike Duggan in April 2018. He has been a fixture in Detroit and Wayne County’s public policy and community engagement for more than twenty years. He is president of The Kinloch Group, Inc., a multi-faceted entertainment and media company. Kinloch is chairman of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. He also serves on the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority and the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation boards. Previously, he was a member of the Wayne County Planning and Development Commission, Detroit Board of Zoning Appeals, Detroit Library Commission and the Detroit Board of Education. Kinloch is a member of Triumph Church in Detroit and the chair of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization.