Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director
Washington, D.C. – “The deal will not serve the people of Detroit but it will corporatize the system by allowing appointed, unelected officials to determine the cost and quality of the water service, effectively denying city residents the ability to hold decision-makers accountable.
“This plan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; corporatization is the first step towards full privatization, which would lead to even higher utility rates and degraded service in the form of water loss, backlogs, sewage spills and more. Under the scheme, city residents lose ballot-box accountability and the city council loses control over rates and major water contracts. The option to eventually privatize the system is then left in the hands of unelected officials whose motives and actions are uninfluenced by the people of Detroit.
“It is unacceptable that Detroiters have no say in the fate of their own water system. This decision, negotiated behind closed doors, is undemocratic and in no way transparent.
“Detroit’s leaders should return full control of DWSD to the city and let the elected city council determine the future of its water system. Responsible public provision with democratic oversight is the only way to ensure that all Detroiters have access to safe, clean, affordable water service.