Selling Wisconsin's Water to Private Utility Companies
Today, clear, safe drinking water probably comes out of your faucets. It is essential to your life and health, and even to your property values. Today, if an out-of-state, for-profit company wanted to become the provider of your essential municipal water, there would have to be a referendum. You would be provided with information about quality and cost, and you would get to vote on it.
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 554/Senate Bill 432 would remove the requirement for your approval. It has quickly gone through the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities, and the Assembly has passed it. The Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Public Works, and Military Affairs concurred, and it is expected that the Senate will schedule a vote very soon.
This legislation was not requested by Wisconsin citizens, but rather by Aqua America, an out-of-state utility company that buys public water systems. They have a record of poor service and escalating prices. With Wisconsin regulatory agencies weakened by budget and staff cuts, oversight can’t be assured.
The League of Women Voters believes that safe drinking is a public trust, a fundamental human right, and a shared responsibility of all who live or do business in our state.
We urge you to contact your state senator immediately and express opposition to this bill. Even if your senator already opposes the bill, your input will support their position as this bill is debated.
Thanks go to Dee Johnson, LWV Ashland-Bayfield, for composing the above alert!
Photo credit: Ryan McGrath, http://www.gratisography.com/