I love Providence Water. Every morning I run the tap to clear out the lead from the old pipes until it runs cool and clear and delicious. In Providence, you’ll drink some of the best tasting—and least expensive—water in the country. Even with a bunch of teenagers showering—they never do laundry—our water bill stays well under $50 a month. I bring refilled bottles of water from my house to my office in Pawtucket because the water there is horrible.
There is talk—again—of selling the water supply. It is said to be a win-win fix for budget and debt and all manner of financial woe. Cianci-era fiscal mismanagement will be put in the past. Debt will be erased. The masters of Wall Street will get their money—they always do— and have leverage over something everybody needs. And the State Government will win because they’ll have even more control over who controls the taps.
I’m against it. 100% opposed. Find another solution for the debt.
Any city counsellor or mayor who divests my water supply will lose my vote forever.
I don’t trust the Rhode Island General Assembly to do what’s in my best interest as a citizen of Providence. If they really wanted to, they’d have already given Providence permission to charge water poachers like the new power plants fair market value. These are the shortsighted folk who thought 38 Studios was a great opportunity and continue to encourage road building and burning of greenhouse gasses as sea levels rise.
Let’s not even get into the likely corruption. Our State-run “authorities” have a history of favoring businesses that make campaign contributions and “provide jobs” over the needs of the thirsty. The power plants will get their cheap water and rates will rise. We might even see something like Scituate Pure Bottled Water company appear—a money-making business that would leave somebody richer, but the environment and locals poorer.
Today, people in suburbs complain that without the State’s restrictions on rates, Providence would “tax” their water. Do they seriously think that a State authority won’t do the same? I don’t doubt that within a few years everyone’s water bill would go up.
Once again, Providence has what everyone wants. Don’t divest it.
The purpose of government is to collectively do what individual citizens can’t. Investing in and creating the Providence Water Supply is a perfect example of what a polity can do best—have foresight and make a good investment as a legacy that continues to pay dividends.
Don’t sell our reservoir, keep it on tap.