New World Water


Chicago’s Mayor wants to lease that city’s water system to a private company to boost city revenue. (h/t Eschaton)

The new boss could charge whatever they want for water, CBS 2s Roseanne Tellez reports. Could it happen here in Chicago? It already has nearby. Homer Glen in Will County relies on Lake Michigan water, but the supply comes from a German-owned firm. Locals say theres a lot more than water going down the drain. Its a vital resource you cant live without. But in Homer Glen, the question is can you afford water. Residents say rates are breaking the bank. Homer Glen resident Lillie Gajda said her family has tried to cut back to offset high rates.
[…] CBS 2 made repeated calls to Illinois-American Water, with no luck. Mayor Daley didn’t want to talk, either. And Water Commissioner John Spatz did not return calls.

According to the mayor’s 2010 budget, the city expects to bring in $453 million from water sales next year. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to what a private firm would get.

via Mayor Daley May Be Considering A Sale Of Chicagos Water System –

Yes, the private company would earn much more and find ways to give much less for a higher price. That is what private companies do. Maximize profit.

I don’t see this turning out well for the people of Chicago. Private, unregulated companies, not utilities, in charge of vital resources means less vital resources for people who can’t pay for it. Remember private fire companies? They ended up resulting in protection scams, were primarily concerned with saving property rather than saving lives and would take advantage of property owners whose building’s had been ravaged by fire by offering them “money now” to sign a deed over. This money was actually a smaller piece of their insurance benefits (which would be subject to reductions by a claims adjuster).

If you want to lease city parking and meters to a private company that is fine with me. I don’t need cheap meters to live. Chicago has already done that. It was a great way to reduce congestion and raise revenue from cars which are not the best modes of transportation for every person who wishes to get around the city.

New World Water make the tide rise high
Come inland and make your house go “Bye” (My house!)
Fools done upset the Old Man River
Made him carry slave ships and fed him dead nigga
Now his belly full and he about to flood somethin
So I’ma throw a rope that ain’t tied to nothin
Tell your crew use the H2 in wise amounts since
it’s the New World Water; and every drop counts
You can laugh and take it as a joke if you wanna
But it don’t rain for four weeks some summers
And it’s about to get real wild in the half
You be buying Evian just to take a fuckin bath

Mos Def, New World Water, Black on Both Sides (1999)