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Private Companies Controlling Stockton Water "Flushed Away"

July 19, 2007

Other countries, have been aggressively going after public service contracts over the past twenty years because water is such a profitable resource. But the trend has been reversed in Stockton -- the city council has just voted to cancel private contracts. Sylvia Kothe with the Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton says cities all over the country are finding that privatizing public water systems doesn't profit the public.

"There's been so many issues of mismanagement of the public waters by private companies, and the red flags were out there."

The courts had also ruled that the city should cancel the contract because environmental law was not followed. Kothe says there are concerns about impacts to the already-stressed Sacramento Delta. She says Atlanta, Georgia, is another city that took back management of its water systems after drinking water quality became unsafe and water rates went up under private management.

Kothe believes it's time for cities all over the state and country to take back their water. And her group is standing by to help grassroots campaigns make that happen.

"To be a resource, a mentor, to other communities that are experiencing these foreign companies trying to open the back door to come in."

The Stockton City Council voted Tuesday night to cancel private water and sewer contracts.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - CA