Investor-owned water companies are committed to providing reliable, high-quality water at a reasonable cost with outstanding customer service. As regulated public utilities, they understand the responsibility entrusted to them for delivering an essential and limited resource. And they understand the best of private enterprise—how to minimize waste while maximizing efficiency and productivity.
Investor-owned water utilities run very efficient utilities. Not only do they employ business accounting and asset management practices, they also have bargaining power to minimize costs for equipment, tools, chemicals and other goods to maintain sound operations. These utilities can often operate more efficiently than their municipal counterparts, as supported by an independent study prepared in 2005 by the University of California at Santa Barbara. The research study found that investor-owned water utilities in the Thousand Oaks area of Southern California operate more efficiently than their neighboring water provider.
Experience and Expertise
They offer their communities with in-depth experience, professionalism, staff training and advanced technology required to operate water systems that are becoming more complex with increasingly stringent water quality standards.
Access to Capital
Investor-owned water companies have a second source of revenues for needed long-term capital investments – equity markets. This additional access to capital is not available to municipalities as a solution to reducing pressure on their own operating budgets. Yet, they need to construct new, improved facilities needed to treat and distribute water, similar to their investor-owned counterparts.
They help local economies by paying franchise, property and other business taxes. These taxes help support community services and facilities. They also collectively invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the infrastructure needed to provide reliable service, as well as contribute to the economic vitality of the communities they serve by creating jobs without competing for money that is earmarked for schools, parks and public safety.
Investor-owned water utilities are committed to meeting customer needs and responding to customers quickly, which often means fixing a problem, such as a service disruption, before it worsens. Many provide 365-day, 24-hour customer service access.
They are very much a part of the communities they serve. Employees work closely with local leaders and customers, and they and their families are typically customers themselves, drinking the same water they help to treat and deliver.