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Reason Foundation

Locals See Benefits of Privatization

Geoffrey Segal
November 29, 2003, 10:38am

Water privatization is one of the most contentious policy issues in the world. Groups like Public Citizen, have sprung up and dedicated tremendous resources to fight this battle. Typically the message they bring is one of disaster and environmental compromise -- totally ignoring the real benefits of water privatization can bring (see Adrian Moore's speech on Why Water Privatization Adds Up). However, too often these groups overlook local conditions or why governments seek privatization in the first place. Recently the government of Guam determined that they should privatize their waterworks system. There hasn't been much uproar yet, but its only a matter of time. But look at what the local paper says, "The government of Guam has proved that it does a lousy job at managing water service (among other areas). The sooner that privatization happens, the sooner water customers will have reliable water on a consistent basis and the sooner potential investors will move in our direction." The article goes on to discuss some very important issues that need to be taken care before privatization advances. But despite these mild warnings, they are adamant that the initiative go forward.


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