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Private Water Companies Come to Texas Bringing Soaring Rates, Little Recourse for Consumers

Business  (tags: abuse, americans, busines, consumers, corporate, corruption, dishonesty, economy, marketing, politics, society, WATER )

- 2651 days ago -
When Robert White opened his water bill last month, his jaw dropped: $250 for a month's worth of water and sewer service. The 63-year-old construction contractor, who shares a three-bedroom home with his wife--> Coming soon to your town.


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William K (308)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 11:21 am
None one knows how to hold a knife to people's throats like a corporation that has control of a scarce resource. Welcome to the world of small government, Texas, where private companies can provide services cheaper and more efficiently than government

Looks like the ranks of people who acknowledge that they are in the 99% will be rapidly growing.

Terry King (113)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:20 pm
Privatizing public utilities is never a good idea. That being said, private lawns and golf courses are a luxury that most of he country can't afford!

Roger G (148)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:25 pm
noted, thanks !

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:47 pm
...."A September report prepared by utility analysts for Robert W. Baird & Co., a financial management company, identified Texas water regulators as the most generous in the country for private water companies."...

Translation...There is NO REGULATION of private corporate water utilities. They can charge whatever they want. You complain to the state...too bad, so shut up and pay up! Nothing will be done about it. Gotta love the mentality here....'you are on your own'. Dawg, how I LOATHE Perry and the TX Congress creatures.

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:59 pm

Frankly, I don't care about lawns, golf course or cemeteries being watered, I care about the rates now being charged for home use of water. We could all see this coming, and utilities have long been privatized, now they are unleashed.
Just because you wrote a check to the City of --- does not mean the utilities were not privatized. I read about the Seven Sisters - in late 60's - it was very revealing look at just what was "pubic" verses private. Even back then, not much.

Terrie Williams (798)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 1:13 pm
I know, Kit. I have never watered our lawn. This was the first year that I had to break down and water our trees once a week to keep from losing them in this drought. Still didn't water the grass. Most of it died. our trees are hanging on barely. Hate to loose them, they shade the house which keeps the AC bill down.

The 'municipal' water company here raised everyone's water bill by 20 bucks this year supposedly to pay for a bond for new construction of another water tower. Yeah, right, WHERE? The city erected a 'new' one about 5 years ago and now they are saying we need another one, but people have moved out of this dying town so why need another 'new' one. We don't need three water towers in this tiny town of under 10K. Just another way to charge us more for using less and less.

Terry King (113)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 2:09 pm
The average golf course uses 312,000 gallons of water per day. The more water wasted the more dear it becomes.

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 2:25 pm
Public Utilities should be publicly owned! I believe ALL public utilities should be taken back by the People - the Government should be monitoring, regulating, & making sure the distribution is fair.. water, electricity, and heating oil are VITAL to citizens and the government should be overseeing them. The water company we have was subsidized by the government, but it's still the cheapest utility we have. We've NEVER used water on our lawn, and I've used "catch water" only on my flower garden.

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 3:50 pm
"These are the times that try men's souls."

I am grateful to be honored to participate in drama such as this.

Kamila A (141)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 3:55 pm
This was predicted. The Bush family bought lots of land in Uruguay over pure water aquifers.

Rose K. (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 5:09 pm

bu s (1)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 5:46 pm
This is in reply to Terrie Williams who wrote:

"Translation...There is NO REGULATION of private corporate water utilities. They can charge whatever they want. You complain to the state...too bad, so shut up and pay up! Nothing will be done about it. Gotta love the mentality here....'you are on your own'. Dawg, how I LOATHE Perry and the TX Congress creatures."

Ok, first of all lets squash the Republican/ Tea Party propaganda as to THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT REGULATION.
There has always been US Government regulation over water because every State has governing bodies, whether it is the Town Hall, The Water Board, The Municipal Board or whatever name it goes by.
Also there has always been regulation regarding clean air, environment, control of reservoirs and lakes, rivers etc no matter how rudimentary and out dated. When ever the Government wants to makes changes to these laws, it faces political barriers. The lobbyists of the vested interests care only for the bottom line. Will I make money or will I loose money when a certain legislation is up for debate.
This is the age of Internet and we are a strong force at the CARE2 Community.
We will look at the issues just like the political parties do, and we will let our voices be heard through our petitions to the Federal Government and also inform our local Senators and Congressmen of the need to protect our environment.
We are committed to preserving the elements nature has provided, and we make sure that the mineral resources that are bestowed upon us are not abused.
I thank Kit B for this article.

Judy G (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:14 pm
It happened years ago, the water was piped underground and then they said it dried up its
all a big secret though. Like the natural spring in Offut, washington state. thats being run underground.
ooops I'll probably be killed for saying that. Right Freedom ra ra ra what happened to our freedom and who will do something?

Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:37 pm
Kit, its called greed, just watch the prices of everything will keep climbing. That writing has been on the wall since the corporations began taking over America. Prices will keep climbing until only the rich will be able to afford to live well, and the middle class will drop down to near poverty level. The greed is everywhere and in every product or service we buy! I remember reading a business mag once that described a United States of America where in the future, the wealthy would live in "secured cities" and outside of these will live everyone else, and it will not be pretty! I

bu s (1)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 6:52 pm
It is fun time, so its MAXIM time.
The bigger they are the harder they fall.
The more the "System" is abused, the greater will be the regulations.

Susanne R (236)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 9:56 pm
I hope the people are beginning to see the dangers of the privatization of services that are now provided by the government. The Republicans are pushing for smaller government and more privatization because it will make their corporate masters even wealthier. Imagine having to pay a private contractor not only for your water, but for your garbage pickup, snow removal, mail delivery, and every other service that the government provides? Our taxes would be a tremendous bargain compared to what private contractors would collectively charge. And even if there was government oversight, the politicians would continue to protect their corporate masters. Business as usual.

The article described a man in Texas with a $250 a month water bill. My husband and I are empty nesters and pay approximately $32 every four months to our County Water Department, and we have a large lawn that is watered daily during the summer months. We may pay high taxes in NYS, but I'm beginning to appreciate more and more every day everything we get for those taxes!

bu s (1)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 10:51 pm
Private utility owned by California-based SouthWest Water Co. LLC should be charged for price-gauging or at least should be under an investigation.
Those companies that try to make a fast buck should be awarded penalties and their licences should be revoked.

lee e (114)
Monday December 19, 2011, 5:33 am
Privatization of our resources for life sustenance is outrageous - the ideological difference between the parties, all this while regulations are being reduced to maintain quality while corporations poison what resources we have left - fracking uses millions of gallons of water, and produces millions of gallons of toxic sludge that cannot be disposed of since we have no adequate facilities, yet the bush/cheney regime exempted the gas/oil corps from safe air and water acts - of course privatization will follow - it will by necessity, since they will be the only source of non-toxic water - buy stock in water now - it'll be worth more than any commodity!

Terrie Williams (798)
Monday December 19, 2011, 8:58 am
Um, Bu? I am NOT a Republican or a Tea Partier....far far far from it. So I am trying to wrap my head around what you wrote as applying to what I said. Uh, you live in Rhode Island, what do you know of Texas politics on a personal level? I live here. I know how this present system works and believe me, those in office choose to not regulate or enforce what regulations there are, concerning private corporations. It has been this way for 11 years. Also, Gov. Perry has been steadily dismantling as many regulations he can in this state for the exact same amount of time. And he's proud of that fact. He allows federal regulations to be overlooked and outright ignored. Kit and I live this horror everyday. We do our best to reach as many as possible to try to make them come to their senses. I don't know how well Kit is doing up in North Texas but down here in Southeast Texas, it is a lost cause. I am in Tea Party hell and there are precious few of my kind here to make a difference at all. They have all drank from the GOP Koolaid dispenser and there is no rational conversation allowed. So you do not have to pontificate to me about care2. I've been here fighting the good fight under two accounts for the last decade. I know what care2 members are capable of. I hope we all keep fighting and hopefully, WINNING.

Carmen S (611)
Monday December 19, 2011, 11:12 am
thanks KIt

Vallee R (280)
Monday December 19, 2011, 1:20 pm
Republican, Democrat - does it really matter anymore - they are almost all bought off - I also have not watered my weeds/lawn during the summer - I did water my vegetable garden all summer and canned all the food we didn't eat - but watered the lawn this summer due to drought and fear of fires here - but anything privatized is dangerous.

Bonnie B (103)
Monday December 19, 2011, 2:06 pm
Noted, thanks, Kit. I am so sorry to hear this, and unfortunately not surprised. I can only hope that this will just bring more people to their senses, into the rise of the 99% and the fall of the Republican Party!

Roseann d (178)
Monday December 19, 2011, 10:02 pm
Privatization of the public realm s*cks. The public ends up paying more for much less. It's all about cutting corners to maximize profits... Their bottom line is pleasing their shareholders. It also paves the way for extra multilayered corruption schemes and taxbreaks and the public gets the shaft... Again!

Roseann d (178)
Monday December 19, 2011, 10:10 pm
So...take it back under Eminent Domain!!! That was the premise for Eminent Domain... For the PUBLIC GOOD, so why are corporations always the only ones using it?

Marianna Molnar (9)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 2:58 am

Brenda Burks (1)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 4:51 am
Be grateful the next time your public utilities increases your water/wastewater bill by 50 cents!!! Not only do they supply your water, they keep streams, rivers and the ocean clean! Noted, THANKS1

Kit B (276)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 6:22 am

Actually, the streams, river and oceans are highly polluted and the money that any corporation makes goes to profit first, not to keeping eco-systems in balance. I have no idea who you are Brenda Burks, but you are most certainly out of touch with reality. Water ownership and land that grows food is in the hands of the few who supply the many at outrageous profit margins. Now that the middle class, or to be honest these days; the working poor. Most of America are living for the barest necessities, prices are going higher, and there is very little effective regulation to a balance. Effective regulation keeps a fair balance of both distribution and price of the necessities of life.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 2:51 pm
What a challenging time in which to live!

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 2:54 pm
What a challenging time in which to live!

Stop the planet, I want to get off.

Then, I'd want to get back on to fight a worthy battle.

This, too, will pass but soul lives on..


KS Goh (0)
Monday December 26, 2011, 1:31 am
Thanks for the article.
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