Bill to Prevent Privatization of Milwaukee Water Works Would Protect Vital Public Resource

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Kate Fried
(202) 683-4905
kfried@fwwatch.org

Bill to Prevent Privatization of Milwaukee Water Works Would Protect Vital Public Resource

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

WASHINGTON -  “Last week, State Representative Frederick P. Kessler (12th Assembly
District) introduced a bill to the Wisconsin State Assembly that would
forbid the privatization of the Milwaukee Water Works. A publically
controlled utility, the water works has been the subject of intense
debate since October 2008 when the Milwaukee Common Council took
initial steps toward leasing it to a private company as a means of
alleviating the city’s budget crunch.

“The plan to hand over the city’s drinking water system for 75 to 99
years in return for an upfront payment from a private buyer is no
solution to Milwaukee’s financial problems.  Around the U.S. and
abroad, private utility companies routinely take over struggling public
water systems, only to jack up rates while service suffers. No
community should trust the claims of a corporation claiming to offer
quick and easy solutions to complex civic issues, especially when such
companies are beholden to shareholders, not customers.

“Food & Water Watch and the Keep Our Water Public Coalition
applaud Representative Kessler and urge the Wisconsin State Assembly to
protect Milwaukee’s water from exploitation by private interests by
signing it into law. We also urge the Milwaukee Common council to take
immediate action to pass a resolution against privatizing the city’s
Water Works in order to ensure safe and affordable water for all
Milwaukeeans."

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Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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