Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, kfried@fwwatch.org    

Press Release

Trump’s Water Infrastructure Plans in Two Words: Higher Rates

 Food & Water Watch Urges Congress to Reject Any Plans to Privatize Infrastructure
WASHINGTON -

As President Trump prepares to promote his plans to privatize much of our nation’s infrastructure, Food & Water Watch is urging Congress to approve only plans that would keep these critical systems publicly controlled. Private financing and operation of infrastructure, particularly water, has been shown to be more expensive and less reliable than when these systems are controlled by public entities. According to research from Food & Water Watch, privately owned water systems charge 59 percent more than publicly owned systems.

“Privatizing our nation’s infrastructure is akin to a fire sale,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Americans lose when control of critical assets like our water and roads is given over to Big Banks and corporations. Rates increase, while quality decreases and jobs are lost. What we need is a massive federal reinvestment in our nation’s infrastructure, particularly our water.” 

Poisoned water and rising service bills reflect our federal government’s dwindling support for water infrastructure, which has declined by 82 percent per capita since 1977. According to one recent study, water service may soon be unaffordable for 35 percent of Americans. Privatizing our water systems is likely to exacerbate current water challenges, making service less affordable and reliable, while slashing jobs. 

Food & Water Watch research shows that private ownership of water systems is on the decline. Nearly nine out of ten Americans that receive water service get it from a publicly-owned system. From 2007 to 2014, private ownership of drinking water systems declined by 7 percent. 

In Ohio, where Trump is due to speak on Wednesday, large privately-owned drinking water systems charge typical households 72 percent more than publicly owned ones. In New York and Illinois, large private systems charge about twice as much as their public counterparts. Large private systems in Pennsylvania charge 84 percent more than public systems, and in New Jersey, large private systems charge 79 percent more than public ones. 

Rural communities face their own set of drinking and wastewater challenges. Rural water systems have high per-capita costs and rely on direct federal support, while many rural households can’t afford to maintain their personal household wells and septic systems, which when failing, can contaminate drinking water supplies. 

“Rural Americans, many of whom voted Trump into office, will continue to suffer with inadequate water service if the Trump plan moves forward. Trump’s focus on private financing for infrastructure fails to adequately address the unique needs of rural communities, ultimately leaving them high and dry,” said Hauter.

Food & Water Watch urges Congress to oppose Trump’s privatization vision. Instead, the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s infrastructure resolution provides the right vision for a comprehensive overhauling our nation’s critical infrastructure systems. For the future and safety of our water, Congress must pass the WATER Act, introduced Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), to create a reliable, sustainable well of $35 billion a year in public funding for community drinking water and sewer systems while creating up to nearly a million new jobs. 

For more information:

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insight/water-privatization-facts-and-figures

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insight/state-public-water-united-states

###

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.

Truss' Tories Plan to Slash Public Spending While Clinging to Chaos-Causing Tax Cuts

"When the IMF tells you, 'hang on guys, this is going to be so bad for inequality it needs a rethink,' you've got a serious problem," one U.K. activist said of the new mini-budget.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sanders, Kaine Hail US Senate's Passage of Brazil Election Resolution

"It is important for the people of Brazil to know we're on their side, on the side of democracy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "With passage of this resolution, we are sending that message."

Brett Wilkins ·


Highland Park Victims Sue Gun-Maker, Stores Over Negligence and Deceptive Practices

Lawyers argued that the "shooter was the type of a young consumer susceptible to Smith & Wesson's deceptive and unfair marketing, and was enabled by his father."

Julia Conley ·


NC Dems Plead for Cash as Beasley Deadlocked With GOP Opponent in Decisive US Senate Race

Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley has a one-point lead, but Trump-backed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd is getting more support from the Republican Party.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Yeah, Right': Pentagon Report Claiming US Military Killed Just 12 Civilians Last Year Met With Skepticism

"Once again the confirmed civilian casualty count is below what communities on the ground are reporting," lamented Emily Tripp, director of the monitor group Airwars.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo