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Food & Water Watch’s Incredible, Shrinking Case Study File

Before Truth from the Tap launched a little over a year ago, Food & Water Watch housed on its website a long list of “case studies” – 34 to be exact – that touted examples of how citizens had blocked private water options within their states and communities.

For instance, Food & Water Watch pointed to Akron, Ohio, as a successful case study for stopping water privatization, congratulating voters on a “wonderful … hard-won victory.”[i] However, the group’s “case study” failed to mention that less than four months after Food & Water Watch worked to block a private water solution, the federal government sued the city for violations of the Clean Water Act due to its dysfunctional sewer system.[ii] Akron was eventually forced to pledge nearly $900 million in a consent decree agreement with the EPA to fix the sewer system.[iii]

Truth from the Tap launched in March 2015.  Our fact-checking campaign has provided numerous “reverse case studies” that note in great detail and with extensive citations all of the ways Food & Water Watch was factually incorrect or simply didn’t tell the full story in their “case studies.”

And you’ll never guess what happened. Since Truth from the Tap launched, the Akron case study has mysteriously disappeared from Food & Water Watch’s website. In fact, Food & Water Watch now has ZERO private water case studies on its website. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Even Food & Water Watch now clearly realizes their own materials don’t hold up under even the slightest scrutiny.

Food & Water Watch’s deeply flawed playbook against private water is getting smaller and smaller as they realize that the facts tell a different story: private water companies have a proven track record of delivering safe and reliable drinking water and waste water services to 73 million Americans every day.

[i] Food & Water Watch, “Case Study: Akron, Ohio” February 2014 (accessed March 2015); Food & Water Watch, “Press Release: Akron Voters Reject Stinky Privatization Measure” November 5, 2008.

[ii] Akron Beacon Journal, “U.S. EPA sues Akron over sewer system” February 11, 2009.

[iii] Law360.com “US, Akron Strike $897M Deal Over CWA Violations” May 4, 2012.

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