(Editors note: Scroll down for Veolia's response to this commentary)
Water is our most essential shared resource. The quality of our water relates directly to our health and the well-being of our city.
Public reinvestment and political commitment to public water is critical. St. Louis does face real challenges. We need to address the declining population, increasing environmental management issues and especially our need to reinvest in our aging water infrastructure.
Innovation comes from the private sector. You don’t have to be a radical capitalist to agree with that simple truth. For example, a private inventor, not a government water company, devised the water meter. St. Louis residents will benefit from the proposed consulting deal with a private company to improve the city’s water division.
Opponents of a contract that asks Veolia North America to look for efficiencies in the St. Louis city water department could get a public hearing.
Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed announced today that he’ll ask an aldermanic committee to look into allegations of corporate misbehavior at the company, which is headquartered in France. His request would have to be approved by the entire board.
The move for public debate heartened Kathleen Logan Smith, the executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.