Quantcast

Public Water Jeopardized by Private Interest

Food & Water Watch

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, issued the following statement Nov. 9 regarding the contract between the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Veolia Water:

"Unfortunately, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) efficiency contract with international corporation Veolia Water, announced yesterday, represents a successful first attempt by the company to infiltrate a municipal water utility using its new strategy in the U.S. Key to Veolia’s strategy is the pursuit of performance based contracts instead of operation and management contracts.

“Consumers should know that Veolia has spent at least $75,000 lobbying the DEP’s procurement department since March.

“This deal is bad for consumers, as Veolia could recommend changes that undermine customer service or sacrifice New York City’s water quality. Many of the strategies that private water companies use to reduce costs and generate profit come at the expense of service quality. Veolia may use shoddy materials, skimp on treatment chemicals and upkeep, and cut back the workforce, thereby slowing response times to maintenance needs, customer service requests and emergencies.

“Rather than cutting a deal with Veolia, the city should have instead explored a public-public partnership to boost efficiency. By partnering with other public entities, nonprofit organizations or labor unions, cities have saved millions of dollars while improving services and retaining local control. Compared to contracts with private entities, these public-public partnerships usually have lower transaction costs and are more cost-effective and reliable.

“Many communities have wisely resisted giving control of their water and sewer systems to private water corporations whose interests do not necessarily align with the public good. Fortunately, this opposition has forced Veolia and other private water companies to pursue more restricted contracts, but even these narrower arrangements warrant public scrutiny.”

For more information, click here.

—————

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
The Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu speaks on Jan. 26 during a press briefing on studying the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and developing a vaccine to prevent it. Roman Balandin / TASS / Getty Images

Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Read More
Sponsored
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.

Read More
Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.

Read More
A solitary Dungeness crab sits in the foreground, at low tide on an overcast day. The crabs' shells are dissolving because of ocean acidification on the West Coast. Claudia_Kuenkel / iStock / Getty Images

As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read More