AUTHORS: Food & Water Watch
ABSTRACT: Nearly nine out of ten people in the United States receive their water service from a publicly owned utility. Although water privatisation receives a great deal of attention from policy makers, the dominant trend is in the other direction - toward public ownership. There are many good reasons for this trend. By owning and operating their water and sewer systems, local governments have control over the decisions that determine the cost and quality of services that are essential for public health and wellbeing as well as economic viability. This control allows governments to direct development, planning and growth and to better protect the environment and sustain their local economies.
After conducting a comprehensive survey of the water rates of the 500 largest US community water systems, large for-profit privately owned systems were found to charge 59% more than large publically owned systems.