Household water bills often skyrocket after private entities take over public water and sewer services. Many cash-strapped families cannot afford such rate hikes, especially in these tough economic times. Given such experiences of other communities, public officials should exercise the utmost caution when considering radical changes to water and sewer services. They should avoid irresponsible budget gimmicks, such as auctioning off public utilities, which could price struggling households out of water service and jeopardize public access to safe water.
Communities need local, public control of their water and sewer utilities to protect the public interest and ensure that no one goes without this essential public resource. With responsible public management and a renewed federal commitment to our country’s water resources, we can best ensure safe and affordable water service for all.