Statement of Jim Walsh, New Jersey State Director, Food & Water Watch
Trenton, NJ – “Legislation taking shape in Trenton that state leaders are framing as a lifeline for Atlantic City is in fact a recipe for disaster. With their plan to sell off Atlantic City’s drinking water system to the highest corporate bidder, Governor Christie and Senate President Sweeney are jeopardizing the health and economic security of city families in order to make a quick buck for their friends in the corporate sector.
“A new study conducted by Food & Water Watch shows that throughout New Jersey, households with corporate water systems pay an average of $230 more a year for water than those with publically-owned and operated systems. And for more of their hard-earned money, private water customers are forced to deal with a corporation inevitably prioritizing profit margins over the health, safety and security of community drinking water.
“The right to clean, affordable water is a human right. It mustn’t be subjected to corporate profit targets or the type of blatant political manipulation currently being undertaken by Christie, Sweeney and legislative leaders in Trenton. The hard-learned lesson from Flint, Michigan is that a municipal water system must never be snatched up in the name of financial crisis and treated as a profit-generating scheme. Families pay a horrible price for such short thinking. The people of Atlantic City, and all New Jersians, deserve better.”
Read more in Food & Water Watch’s new report on the increased costs and decreased dependability of privatized water systems in New Jersey and nationally.