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Beware the privatization of your town’s water

People often assume private providers will be cheaper and more efficient; often the opposite is true.

Investing in water and forests for water security is nothing new, but Missoula, Montana has reversed course and re-invested in its natural and built water infrastructure.

Their story is important for utilities and communities around the West because of the multiple benefits that will now accrue to the community instead of, in this case, the private company that owned Missoula’s water utility for decades.

Why did Missoulans recently agree to pay $84 million for the private water company? Karen Knudsen, Executive Director of the Clark Fork Coalition and one of the key players in the purchase, points to three key factors – a high public ‘watershed IQ’; local government leadership and effective partnerships and collaborations.

If those last three points sound familiar, they should! That’s how our Carpe Diem West network leaders are bringing health to western headwaters forests and water security downstream.

Karen was featured in an Op-ed that ran in High Country News.

Read the Carpe Diem West interview with Karen Knudsen here.

Carpe Diem!

Kimery Wiltshire

Kimery Wiltshire
March 30, 2018

 

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