PROTECTING DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE OF WATER – WISCONSIN 

Water corporation giant, Aqua America*, recently sought the assistance of a former Wisconsin state legislator to introduce a bill to make way for towns to be able to sell or lease their water to corporations outside the state. At this point in time, most water systems in Wisconsin are publicly managed.

*Aqua America has a very poor track record. In Florida, they have charged consumers twice the price of other utility companies. There have also been a large number of violations of local drinking water regulations, as well as reports of discolored, acrid water. Similar reports have been found in N. Carolina and Texas.

In Wisconsin a coalition of local organizations, assisted by Corporate Accountability International and a non-profit law center in Madison, were successful in getting the bill removed from the legislative agenda through a strong media campaign and lobbying legislators to vote against the bill.

In the the wake of this victory, the law center is now preparing a drinking water bill of rights to protect Wisconsin’s public water. The cities of Milton and Janesville have passed ordinances to ensure water remains in public hands. The success in Wisconsin demonstrates that residents will take action when a right as fundamental as water is threatened …

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