Food & Water Watch Works to Keep Water a Public Resource | Food & Water Watch
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I long ago stopped believing that most corporations and politicians had the good of the public in mind. We need independent groups like Food & Water Watch to raise awareness and advocate for ethical, environmentally positive laws.
Elise Zuidema

Water Privatization


Private Equity, Public Inequity:The Public Cost of Private Equity Takeovers of U.S. Water Infrastructure

Water Municipalization Guide: How U.S. Communities Can Secure Local Public Control of Privately Owned Water and Sewer Systems

Public-Public PartnershipsPublic-Public Partnerships:An Alternative Model to Leverage the Capacity of Municipal Water


Around the world, multinational corporations are seizing control of public water resources and prioritizing profits for their stockholders and executives over the needs of the communities they serve.

Get the Facts

  • These private water companies try to persuade cash-strapped cities and towns to relinquish control over their valuable public water and sewer systems.
  • Many communities that experimented with privatization have found that it often results in worse service at a higher cost.
  • After taking over a municipal water system, water companies aggressively hike water rates by an average of about 10 percent a year, adding hundreds of dollars onto the typical annual household bill. Read more.

How Food & Water Watch Is Helping

Food & Water Watch serves as a clearinghouse for information and an ally in organizing to ensure that water — a public resource — stays in public hands.

We provide support for the residents, elected officials, water utility staff and community leaders who are fighting to protect their water from corporate control.

In addition to serving as a clearinghouse for communities facing privatization, we alert public officials and concerned citizens about the risks of privatization and the economic, social and environmental benefits of public, locally accountable water operation.


People have won real victories in protecting their water resources. Over the last decade, public resistance has stopped dozens of possible privatization deals, and community organizing has secured local, public control of a number of water and sewer systems from private companies. Food & Water Watch has worked with local coalitions in several of these communities, including Trenton, Milwaukee, Akron and Marion, Ind.