Growth of large private water companies brings higher water rates, little recourse for consumers

Source: Jeremy Schwartz and Eric Dexheimer, Austin American Statesman, December 18, 2011

…Across the state, a growing number of suburban Texans are getting their water from large, private corporations owned by investors seeking to profit off the sale of an essential resource. State figures show private companies are seeking more price increases every year, and many are substantial.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which regulates water and sewer rates for nonmunicipal customers, doesn’t keep numbers, but “their rate increases tend to be 40 and 60 percent,” said Doug Holcomb, who oversees the agency’s water utilities division. …

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