Why should Claremont have control of its water supply?

As a community, we are responsible for preserving our life-sustaining environment. Not just for ourselves, but also for those who will live here after us, and for the wildlife, trees and plants that make Claremont a wondrous place.

That’s why Claremont residents should vote YES on Measure W. All of us should support the city council, which is acting responsibly on our behalf in seeking public control of the Claremont water system.

Corporations claim that private ownership and management of water resources will be more efficient and less costly than public control. Yet, paying high returns to stockholders and sky-high compensation to executives confirms that corporate ownership of water is all about profit.

Corporations that sell commodities, such as cars and coffee, provide a public service even as they make a profit. Competing with other commodity sellers encourages efficiency and keeps the price down.

But a corporation with exclusive rights to a community’s water supply lacks the competition that keeps costs and prices low. And without competition, there’s no incentive to be more efficient. A corporation with exclusive rights to a community’s water can simply claim that rising costs justify higher rates.

Private ownership of a community’s water supply is wrong, because water is not a commodity. Water is nature’s priceless gift and the life-sustaining pulse of a community. Public control of the Claremont water system will allow us to conserve and share this treasure responsibly.

Robert Traer