Great Lakes Water Authority
Detroit, Michigan 48226
GLWA website


Population: 4 million residents in ~125 communities in SE Michigan
System: Combined Water/Wastewater

Located along the Great Lakes waterway, Detroit, is a metropolitan city made up of about 139 square miles of land and 4 square miles of water. Its beautiful waterfront shows a variety of architectural styles, complete with named Detroit Riverfront, along where many marathons run, visitors walk, and wedding photos are taken. 

One of the largest water utilities in the United States, the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is a regional water authority in the state of Michigan. It provides water and sewer services for ~125 Southeast Michigan communities, including Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

GLWA was created in the fall of 2014 as part of the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceedings. The catchment area for the utility is located on the Detroit River which drains into Lake Erie.

With about 900 employees, the GLWA will fund improvements to Detroit's aging water infrastructure, such as repairs to old treatment facilities and leaking pipes. In October 2015, Sue McCormick, the director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, was named the first CEO of GLWA. It is led by a board of directors, with representatives from Detroit, Oakland County, Macomb County, Wayne County, and the State of Michigan.