Aqua Utility to Sell Water and Sewer Systems in Florida
Consumer Group and Allies Celebrate Victory But Continue Fight Against Privatization
Statement from Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C. — “After witnessing water users in Florida suffer several years of aggressive rate hikes, questionable water quality and poor customer service, we are pleased to learn that Aqua Utility, a subsidiary of Aqua America, is seeking to sell all of its Florida water and sewer systems to the Florida Governmental Utility Authority. The community groups and volunteers of Florida FLOW, local organizers and residents should be congratulated for this victory and for dealing a powerful blow to water privatization in Florida.
“While Aqua Utility’s retreat is a great first step toward regaining public control of water and sewer systems throughout the state, it is still only one victory in the overall fight against the corporate abuses of water privatization. While we are hopeful that residents can regain public control of their water systems soon it remains to be seen if Aqua Florida will negotiate a sale price in good faith or continue to stonewall the four year effort of residents to secure safe, affordable water.
“The final result of Aqua Utility’s troubles in Florida offer critical insight regarding our work against water privatization: private utilities continue to charge higher rates for poorer service than public systems, and residents around the country are fighting back. In the long run, we hope that Aqua will allow local public municipalities to run these water and sewer systems with full resident support, and that the corporation does not pursue selling these systems to another private company that could be as bad or worse as Aqua America.”
Contact: Rich Bindell, Food & Water Watch, 202-683-2457, [email protected]