Popular Resistance - The most affordable water systems in the U.S. are publicly owned and operated by the government, an exhaustive study reveals. At the same time, for-profit private water companies charge 58 percent more than publicly owned ones.
Food & Water Watch, a non-governmental consumer rights organization based in D.C., comprehensively surveyed the 500 largest community water systems in the U.S., in what it says is “the largest U.S. water rate survey of its kind.”
The report, titled “The State of Public Water in the United States,” reveals that the average public water utility in the U.S. charged $316.20 for 60,000 gallons a year, while the average private, for-profit water company charged $500.96 for the same.
In states like New York and Illinois, the disparity is even greater, with privatized water systems charging twice as much as public, not-for-profit ones.
Pennsylvania for-profit systems charge a whopping 84 percent more than public systems — $323 more per year, on average. New Jersey private systems charge 79 percent more — $230 more per year.