For Immediate Release
On Friday, New Jersey American Water is the title sponsor of a Jersey Water Works conference, which includes a keynote address titled “The Case for Water Affordability.”
Food & Water Watch’s Senior Organizer and Policy Advocate Lena Smith issued the following statement:
“It is commendable that Jersey Water Works is bringing together multiple stakeholders around an issue that is vital to the long-term health of our communities. But there is a problem when private industries exert control over that process for their own gains.
“In New Jersey, private water companies charge on average 79% more than publicly owned utilities, which amounts to an extra $229 a year for families. New Jersey American Water uses forums like this conference to obscure its record of soaking New Jersey ratepayers, while refusing to divulge how many households it shuts off for non-payment.
“Earlier this year, Food & Water Watch released a report called America’s Secret Water Crisis, which documented a national affordability crisis and found that an estimated 15 million people faced a water shutoff in 2016. New Jersey American Water refused to release shutoff data for our state, making it impossible to assess the scope of our own water affordability problem.
“We call on the company, in the interest of transparency and accountability, to make this information publicly available.”