We hope this finds you well in these stressed times.
This letter is to notify you of pending legislation – The Voluntary Partnership for Distressed Communities Act that will expand privatization of public water systems. Senator Tammy Duckworth is pushing to include the amendment in S. 3591 – the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 that will likely be voted on between July 20 – August 7th. CWTA has signed a letter, along with organizations throughout the country to oppose the legislation. You can help by contacting Senator Duckworth’s office– 230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 3900, Chicago, IL 60604 or Phone 312 886-3506 — to voice your strong opposition to this legislation and adding it to the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (S. 3591). Also please send this to your networks to multiply the opposition.
The Voluntary Partnership for Distressed Communities Act would push struggling and underfunded water systems to be sold or leased to private companies. Over 500 publicly owned water systems across the country have serious violations to drinking water quality standards. But instead of providing financial support to fix these water systems, this bill would allow water systems to avoid enforcement and fines for 3 years if they turn to private control. Privatization is NOT the solution, and usually leads to higher rates and worse service, poor water quality, and higher rates that would disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in order to maximize corporate profits.
It’s going to be a tough fight. Your help will make a difference. The primary supporter of the bill is the National Association of Water Companies, which represents multi-billion dollar water corporations like American Water and Suez. American Water has already spent over $100,000 lobbying for this bill so far in 2020.
Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts.
CWTA Vice Chair