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Transnational Institute Gets it Wrong on Water Privatization – Part 1

In the run-up to the 2015 World Water Forum, the Transnational Institute, along with four other organizations, released a report titled “Our public water future: The global experience with remunicipalization.”

The authors claim their report details the “growing waves of cities and communities worldwide” that are choosing to remunicipalize their water systems. However, the report manipulates data, misrepresents facts, and clearly misunderstands fundamental elements of the private water industry in the United States.

Throughout the 131-page report, there are plenty of so-called “facts” that just don’t add up.Here is the first way TNI’s report gets it wrong when it comes to water system in the U.S. Read the 4 other ways in our blog.

1. THE REPORT CLAIMS A “LARGE NUMBER” OF REMUNICIPALIZATIONS HAVE OCCURRED IN U.S.

TNI and its partner organizations clumsily manipulate and selectively cite available data. The report asserts that 169 private water contracts have been lost to remunicipalization over a 14-year period. However, the report conveniently fails to mention that 5,214 contracts have come up for renewal in that time. Thus, the 169 contracts lost to remunicipalization are a mere 3.2% of the total number of contracts up for renewal during the same time period. The numbers don’t lie – private water has a nearly 97% renewal rate and remunicipalization is a much more uncommon occurrence than the report’s authors would like you to believe.

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