There are many benefits to working with a regulated water company:
Strategic investment in water systems.
Water companies provide crucial capital for water infrastructure improvements. In 2019, NAWC’s 10 largest members alone invested nearly $3.7 billion in their water systems. This amounts to more than $1 billion more than the combined annual appropriation for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Safe and reliable water.
Research, including a 2018 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that regulated water companies are far less likely to have health-based drinking water quality violations than their government-owned counterparts. A further analysis of the PNAS dataset on the state level confirmed that water companies have higher rates of SDWA compliance in each of the four states analyzed (CA, TX, PA, NJ).
Extensive environmental regulations and the complexities of water treatment and delivery are increasingly burdensome for municipalities. The lessons from Flint, Michigan serve as a stark reminder that having enhanced technical and operating expertise matters. Water companies offer a vast network of experienced water utility management professionals with a singular focus on ensuring safe and reliable water service to the communities they serve.
Improving local economies.
Regulated water companies contribute to local economies by paying federal and state income taxes, local property taxes, and permit fees for projects, providing valuable government revenue. These companies also provide good-paying jobs, competitive benefits and training to local residents. When a community is served by a water company, it frees up municipalities to invest capital and resources in other priority projects.
Active, responsible environmental leadership is paramount to providing water for the public health and safety of communities. Water companies continue to be at the forefront of a more holistic approach to resource management that embraces watershed planning and greener cities and fosters environmental and economic vitality.
Committed to safety and security.
NAWC members have been at the forefront of water safety and security for years, even before the federal government or Congress mandated stringent measures. Water companies lead with successful, innovative and cutting-edge approaches to protect the communities they serve. Employee safety is also a top priority and data shows that private utilities have a stronger record than government-run utilities. A Governing Magazine analysis found that private utility employees have a nearly 52-percent lower work-related illness and injury rate than public utility employees.
Additional regulatory oversight.
Regulated water companies are regulated at the federal level by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and at the state level by various state health and environmental agencies for compliance with the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. They are also highly regulated by state public utility commissions, which set the rates regulated utilities can charge customers for water and wastewater service.