The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,info(at)fwwatch(dot)org,Seth Gladstone -,

Water Infrastructure Financing Act Benefits Corporations at the Expense of Taxpayers

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter


"Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
approved S.1005, the Water Infrastructure Financing Act. The bill
contains language that would, for the first time, allow private
wastewater utilities access to funding from the Clean Water State
Revolving Funds (CWSRF). This proposed change to the law would
essentially allow private wastewater utilities to benefit from public
funding. The burden of this modification, however, would ultimately
fall on consumers, because private wastewater utilities charge
customers as much as 80% more than do their public counterparts. Under
this bill, consumers would be left to subsidize these utilities through
both taxes and higher user rates.

"Privatization is not an efficient means of rejuvenating ailing
wastewater systems. From high costs and inefficiency to unaccountable
and irresponsible operators, a deluge of problems has swamped
communities that have turned their wastewater systems over to the
private sector. This is because corporations prioritize earnings over
quality and stockholders over consumers. They seek returns by cutting
corners and hiking rates, and further pad investor pockets by
downsizing workforces and stripping away worker benefits. Inflated
prices, higher household bills and lost jobs are the last thing
families need in these challenging economic times.

"Congress should reject language in the Water Infrastructure
Financing Act that subsidizes and incentivizes such corporate abuse. If
taxpayers front the money for these programs, they should be the
primary beneficiaries."

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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