Your Water is Owned by Who?

The Environmental Protection Agency tracks 147,354 individual water systems in the United States (Q2 2017).

81% of those systems are publicly run
17% are private
2% are public-private partnerships

The average annual water bill for households using 60,000 gallons of water a year is $329.06. Privately controlled water systems charge customers an average of $500.96, a 59% increase over the average bill for publicly run water systems, $315.56.

When private corporations buy public water utilities, customers pay for it.

Fort Smith Municipal Water Plant
Attribution: Brandonrush

About Water Privatization

Private water companies are more likely to cherry pick service areas to avoid serving low-income communities where low water use or bill collection probelms could hurt corporate profits
Customers who are unhappy with their service have no recourse if the utility is privately owned - they cannot switch to a different water utility and they cannot effect change by voting to replace water commissioners
Privatization typically leads to a loss of one in three water jobs
After privatization, water rates increase at about three times the rate of inflation, with an average increase of 18 percent every other year