Veolia Water North America, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., is the top private water services contractor in the United States. With $546 million in revenue from 166 government clients, it dominated the country’s water outsourcing market in 2009.3 Despite the company’s predominance, its track record includes privatization failures in communities large and small. After several of its largest contracts — including Indianapolis, New Orleans and Puerto Rico — ran into serious snags, Veolia was forced to reconsider its strategy for turning water provision into a private, profit-making venture.
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In the Public Interest is a comprehensive research and policy center on privatization and responsible contracting.