Food & Water Watch Gets It All Wrong On Jersey City

In a letter to the editor published this week, NAWC’s Marybeth Leongini responded to a recent letter from a Food & Water Watch activist that claimed private water ownership results in higher drinking water rates and that Jersey City should take back its system. Leongini points out that the system is already publicly-owned by the Municipal Utilities Authority, noting the irony that “FWW is arguing for the city to take back control of something it already has.” The letter also highlights the benefits the city has seen as a result of its work with SUEZ. Read the full piece below:

The recent letter to The Jersey Journal by Food & Water Watch (FWW) points to a report that claims privately-owned water utilities charge more for drinking water service. This dubious claim doesn’t tell the full story. While private utilities sometimes have higher rates, studies show they also invest more on infrastructure, resulting in far greater compliance with drinking water standards and far more reliable service for customers.

But a letter smearing privately-owned utilities isn’t even relevant to Jersey City, whose water system is owned by the Municipal Utilities Authority. FWW is arguing for the city to take back control of something it already has.

The city’s publicly-owned water system has been professionally operated under contract by SUEZ since 1996 and continues to meet all drinking water standards. SUEZ has helped the MUA identify critical capital improvements, resulting in less water waste. SUEZ’s maintenance and operations of the plant, dam and aqueduct distribution system has allowed the water system to function more efficiently and address any emergencies.

FWW is a Washington, DC, lobbying organization that has proven itself to be an untrustworthy source of information, twisting narratives and ignoring facts to fit its ideological agenda. Jersey City leaders should be wary.

Marybeth Leongini, Director of Communications, National Association of Water Companies

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