Cutting out the middle man.
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The steady drip of Detroit’s financial woes is turning into a gusher as the city braces to lose one of its most reliable sources of revenue: contracts with surrounding communities for the city’s water supply.

For years, Detroit’s water system played the middle man in getting water from Lake Huron to neighboring communities. But the city’s aging water system is of enough concern that the city of Flint has joined with Genesee County and others to build a $300 million pipeline parallel to an existing one to get water directly from the lake, cutting out the Motor City.

For Detroit, Flint’s decision means losing its second-biggest customer and drying out an already-depleted revenue sheet.