For Immediate Release
Darcey Rakestraw, Food & Water Watch: (202) 683-2500, drakestraw(at)fwwatch(dot)org
Franklin Township Rejects United Water Privatization Proposal
Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
WASHINGTON - “We applaud Franklin Township for unanimously rejecting a risky privatization deal that would have handed over the operation, maintenance and management of the publicly owned water system to United Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French company Suez Environnement. This victory for public water comes almost a year after residents in Trenton, NJ voted 5 to 1 to reject the privatization of their publicly owned water system.
“Prior to the council vote, members of the council cited concerns that the privatization was not in the financial interest of the community, a claim that bears out in water privatizations across the country. Council members also cited the role that Food & Water Watch played in their decision making process; some noting the presence of volunteers petitioning around Franklin Township to educate the public about the deal and build opposition to the proposal.
“In a clear display of public opposition, over 500 residents signed a petition, circulated by our volunteers, rejecting the concept of water privatization and demanding that the township maintain local control of this essential resource. Earlier this year at a public hearing on the proposed privatization deal, 100% of Franklin residents who spoke at the hearing were against it.
“Communities across the country can learn from the example set by Franklin Township’s council who carefully evaluated the privatization deal with public input, concluding that water privatization does not make sense.”
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.