Michael Deane: Private water companies bring needed investment dollars
National Association of Water Companies
Your recent guest column “Writers on the Range: Keep a public hand on water” makes the erroneous claim that private investment in water infrastructure is bad for American communities, resulting in raised prices and system upgrade delays. However, private water companies do not set water rates – municipalities in partnerships with water operating companies determine the rates necessary to deliver value and efficiency savings to customers.
So why might consumers see a rate increase when a private/public sector partnership begins? Often times rate increases are a result of cities realizing they have to make needed investments in the water system to ensure they continue to provide environmental and public health protection to their community while operating in an efficient and sustainable manner. Innovative public officials often reach out to the experienced professionals in private water companies to help deliver improved service and updated infrastructure.
Private water companies are nothing new in this country, and now more than ever, we need significant capital investment in water infrastructure. This investment will do more than improve the quality of our water and our environment; it will create jobs, supporting thousands of new jobs in construction, food service, health care and retail, resulting in community revitalization.
Companies don’t look at addressing water challenges as private versus public. These are private and public sector collaborations seeking to provide the best service, customized solutions and highest quality to the consumer. When municipalities work in tandem with private water service providers, the end result is likely to be more efficient and a better value for the customer.
Water is a public good and a necessity for life. Visit http://www.WaterIsYourBusiness.org to learn more about the economic and ecological impacts of water provision, use and disposal in your community.
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