Privatization of Water in Coatesville, Pa
For For Al Jazeera America.
By all practical measures, Coatesville is 2 square miles of ghetto. Yet more than a dozen residents told Al Jazeera that, despite low use, they spend more than $100 each month for water, on par with residents of some major cities. All of their money goes to the private company that owns Coatesville’s water system, or PAWC.
The dilapidation of Coatesville is closely intertwined with the growing cost of water. Back in 2001, city officials sold the rights to the system to PAWC, in the hopes that the revenue from the sale could spark an urban renaissance. But that turnaround never came. Now thousands of low-income people must pay exorbitant prices to access a basic resource.