The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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

President Biden: Don't Give Wall Street Control of Our Public Water Systems

New advisory report pushes disastrous privatization schemes.

This week, President Biden’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council issued a report recommending the privatization of the nation’s water systems. The chair of the advisory council is the CEO of Global Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure investment bank with an estimated $100 billion in assets under management that targets energy, transportation, digital and water infrastructure.

The report recommends, among other things, that the federal government “[r]emove barriers to privatization, concessions, and other nontraditional models of funding community water systems,” and open up all federal grant programs to support privatized utilities.

Food & Water Watch Public Water for All Campaign Director Mary Grant issued the following response:

“Water privatization is a terrible idea. President Biden should have never appointed an investment banker to chair an advisory council for the nation’s infrastructure. Wall Street wants to take control of the nation’s public water systems to wring profits from communities that are already struggling with unaffordable water bills and toxic water. Privatization would deepen the nation’s water crises, leading to higher water bills and less accountable and transparent services. Privately owned water systems charge 59 percent more than local government systems, and private ownership is the single largest factor associated with higher water bills — more than aging infrastructure or drought.

“Instead of relying on Wall Street advisers, President Biden should support policies that will truly help communities by asking Congress to pass the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act (HR 1729, S 938). After decades of federal austerity for water, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was a step forward, but it provided only about seven percent of the identified needs of our water systems. The WATER Act would fully restore the federal commitment to safe water by providing a permanent source of federal funding at the level that our water and wastewater systems need to ensure safe, clean and affordable public water for all.”

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