Food & Water Watch proves lack of understanding about water service in the U.S., while choosing to ignore hard data that shows exceptional record of water companies.

Food & Water Watch, once again, gets so many things wrong in its latest blog post that attacks state public utility commissioners and their role in overseeing rate regulated water companies. Here are three of the many egregious examples of how the group simply does not understand the water industry, generally, and is even less aware of the proven record of water companies in delivering solutions for struggling municipalities.

Food & Water Watch ignores the fact that many government-run drinking water and wastewater systems are in dire need of investment and expertise and, as a result, are reaching out to tap the experience and expertise the private sector can offer.

  • Food & Water Watch criticizes any public policy that helps municipalities voluntarily access the private sector’s proven strengths when it comes to water system operation including infrastructure repairs and investments. The group would rather block private sector solutions and force municipal governments to hold onto their failing water and wastewater systems, putting the very people they are there to serve at risk.

Food & Water Watch ignores all of the evidence – actual hard data – that shows that the regulatory oversight process works and that regulated water companies are providing exceptional service each and every day to millions of Americans.

  • Multiple studies covering decades and tens of thousands of EPA data points clearly shows that privately-owned water systems are significantly less likely to incur Safe Drinking Water Act violations than government-owned systems. Regulators and legislators in states across the country have the facts that clearly show the private sector is delivering effective solutions for municipal water and wastewater systems.  However, instead of acknowledging the facts, Food & Water Watch calls those regulators and legislators corrupt because they simply don’t have the evidence to do anything else than resort to name calling.

Food & Water Watch throws around the completely unsubstantiated claim that water companies, upon engaging with a municipality, never hire the existing employees. However, the group’s lack of any evidence to support this claim is telling and is just another sad example of Food & Water Watch throwing a totally false claim against the wall and hoping it sticks.

  • Let’s look at a few examples related to American Water in Pennsylvania. When acquiring the Scranton Sewer Authority in 2016, Pennsylvania American Water provided employment to all of the existing 88 workers. In New Cumberland, the four borough employees were hired following the October 2016 purchase of the wastewater system. In 2015, American Water hired the four municipal employees who ran the wastewater system in Fairview Township after the acquisition. Looking forward, the company has signed an asset purchase agreement with Exeter Township to acquire the wastewater system in Berks County, and again, will offer employment to all existing municipal employees.

We know this isn’t the last time we’ll have to correct Food & Water Watch’s faulty claims. Instead of putting so much effort into trying to bash a system that is clearly working, the group would be better off putting their time and resources into supporting policies that actually benefit Americans and strengthen our nation’s water infrastructure.

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