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Private water companies better equipped to provide higher quality systems

In a letter to the editor of the Asbury Park Press, Robert Powelson, NAWC president and CEO, responded to an earlier opinion piece by Food & Water Watch that was filled with inaccurate claims about water companies. In his letter, Powelson sets the record straight by highlighting the higher quality water, significant investment, and operational expertise that water companies bring to communities across the country. Read the full piece below.

Water companies bring crucial investment, operational expertise and safer water to the many communities they serve across the country. Safe Drinking Water Act data overwhelmingly shows that water companies have a superior record of providing higher quality water than municipally run systems. Yet, ideologically driven activist groups like Food & Water Watch still try to scare communities away from proven solutions. (Jan. 25 oped, “Corporate interests plot sneaky sewer system takeovers.“)

Time and again groups like Food & Water Watch fail to address the woeful gap between the current level of investment and the billions needed to modernize America’s water infrastructure. Water companies invest billions of dollars in their water systems every year — the 10 largest alone invest more than $3 billion annually — money most municipal systems don’t have or aren’t willing to spend.

Water rates are a direct reflection of investment. A community can choose to artificially suppress rates but that means necessary investments aren’t being made in the systems that deliver drinking water to their residents’ taps, leading to lower quality water and threatening public health.

Water companies provide a solution where local governments are falling short. We should never be willing to jeopardize public health when viable solutions to America’s water infrastructure crisis are available right now.

— Robert Powelson, president and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC)

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